The Rays have designated right-hander Chris Ellis for assignment, per a club announcement. His spot on the 26-man and 40-man rosters will go to lefty Ryan Yarbrough, who has been reinstated from the Covid-19-related injured list.
It’s surely a bitter pill to swallow for Ellis, who was selected to the big league roster just two days ago and promptly pitched four brilliant innings in his lone appearance with the club. The righty picked up his first big league win in yesterday’s game when he tossed the final four innings of the game and held Baltimore scoreless on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
That said, Ellis has had a rough go of it in Triple-A this year, which made his promotion to the big league roster look likely to be a short-term stint. In 15 appearances (13 starts) with the Rays’ top affiliate in Durham, Ellis has posted a 6.32 ERA with slightly below-average strikeout and walk rates. He’s also served up 14 home runs in just 57 innings of work thus far in Triple-A.
Ellis, now 28 years old, had a strong Triple-A season in 2018 but has been hit hard both in 2019 and 2020 at that level. Still, he’s a former third-round pick (Angels, 2014) who has been well-regarded enough to be included in a pair of trades involving notable big leaguers — Andrelton Simmons and Jaime Garcia — and was a Rule 5 Draft pick as recently as the 2018-19 offseason. The Rays will now place him on outright waivers or release waivers, giving all 29 other clubs the opportunity to claim him.