Tampa Bay has operated a revolving door with its last bullpen spot in the past few days. In rapid succession, the Rays have selected and designated each of Cristofer Ogando, Easton McGee and now Herget, whose most recent call-up came just yesterday. Yacabonis will now step into the bullpen as the Rays juggle low-leverage innings headed into the postseason.
The Rays nabbed Yacabonis off waivers from the Marlins in early August. He spent two weeks in the big leagues with Tampa Bay, appearing four times out of the bullpen. The 30-year-old allowed five runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings, striking out four while issuing a pair of walks. He was designated for assignment and cleared waivers before accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham.
Yacabonis has appeared in parts of five big league campaigns, suiting up with the Orioles, Mariners and Marlins in addition to his time in Tampa Bay. He owns a 5.92 ERA in 117 MLB innings, coming out of the bullpen for 57 of his 70 outings. He’s pitched to a 3.21 ERA in 33 2/3 Triple-A frames this year, and he’ll offer skipper Kevin Cash a potential multi-inning option for the last two games of the regular season. Yacabonis is technically postseason-eligible, although it’s unlikely the Rays will carry him on any of their playoff rosters.
Herget loses his roster spot after soaking up 4 1/3 innings in relief of Tyler Glasnow during yesterday’s loss to the Red Sox. The righty threw 77 pitches and certainly wouldn’t have been an option to appear in either of the next two games. With the Rays not planning on carrying him on the playoff roster, it’s not a surprise they promptly designated him for assignment. It nevertheless has to be a tough pill to swallow for the 31-year-old rookie, who has been DFA on three occasions dating back to mid-August.
In each of the past two instances, Herget went unclaimed on waivers and was sent back to Durham. He’ll land on the wire again in the next few days. Herget had a very impressive Triple-A campaign, working to a 2.95 ERA with a solid 24.4% strikeout percentage and a minuscule 3.9% walk rate over 97 2/3 frames. Even if he goes unclaimed on waivers and hits free agency — either via immediate rejection of an outright assignment or at the end of the year — that should draw him a fair number of minor league offers this winter.