2:45pm: The Rays have officially selected Gray to the major league roster and placed Walls on the paternity list. In a corresponding move, Greg Jones has been recalled from Triple-A and placed on the 60-day IL, opening up a spot for Gray on the 40-man roster. Jones has not played since July 22 due to a hamstring injury.
12:32pm: The Rays are planning to select the contract of infielder Tristan Gray from Triple-A Durham, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He will be taking his spot on the active roster from Taylor Walls, who is going on the paternity list. The Rays will need to make a corresponding move to add Gray to the 40-man roster.
Gray joined the organization in 2018 as part of the trade that sent Corey Dickerson to the Pirates. He has spent the past three years at Triple-A with the Durham Bulls, where he has played all four infield positions. He also occasionally played the outfield corners during his time in college. Indeed, Gray’s defensive versatility is his strongest asset. His bat is serviceable but unexceptional; he has slashed .233/.299/.472 across his three seasons at Triple-A. He has demonstrated impressive power but poor plate discipline, hitting 69 home runs and 59 doubles but striking out in more than 30% of his trips to the plate.
It seems likely that Osleivis Basabe will cover for Walls as the primary shortstop, while Gray takes Basabe’s job as a utility infielder. Basabe has struggled lately, slashing .094/.171/.125 over his last 12 games, but he remains one of the top prospects in the Rays organization, and the team should give him every chance to succeed. He previously started at shortstop while Walls was on the injured list recovering from a strained oblique.
That being said, the Rays are set to face two right-handed pitchers this weekend in Baltimore, Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kremer, which could give the lefty-batting Gray a leg up. Whatever his role, the 27-year-old long-time minor leaguer will strive to impress in his big league debut.