The Rays announced a number of roster moves today, reinstating Shane Baz from the 60-day injured list, optioning Ralph Garza Jr. to Triple-A, and transferring Andrew Kittredge to the 60-day injured list, per Rays’ broadcaster Neil Solondz (via Twitter).
The Kittredge move opens a spot on the 40-man roster for Baz, but it was a foregone conclusion after the revelation that Kittredge needs Tommy John surgery. He’ll be out for the rest of this season and potentially all of next season as well.
Bittersweet as the moment may be, the Rays will be excited to get Baz back on the hill. Still just 22 years old, Baz burned through the minors last season in time to make three starts at the end of the regular campaign. He has been out so far this season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. The Rays believed in Baz enough to give him the start in game two of the American League Division Series.
He will make his debut start against the Twins. Theoretically (health provided), Baz should become a rotation staple alongside Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Corey Kluber, giving Tampa a more traditional rotation than they’re accustomed to in recent years.
As for Garza, the 28-year-old has made 11 appearances on the year for Tampa, logging 22 innings with a 3.27 ERA/4.64 FIP. Garza was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox, for whom he never made an appearance.