Tampa Bay Rays Call Up Top Prospect Taj Bradley, Place Zach Eflin on IL with Elbow Inflammation

The Tampa Bay Rays have made a roster move ahead of their series finale against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. The team announced that they have promoted right-handed pitcher Taj Bradley from Triple-A Durham and placed right-hander Zach Eflin on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.

Bradley, 21, is one of the Rays’ top pitching prospects and has been dominant in the minor leagues this season. He started the year in Low-A Charleston, where he posted a 2.14 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 11 starts, striking out 68 batters and walking only 12 in 54.2 innings.

He was then promoted to High-A Bowling Green, where he continued to impress with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in nine starts, fanning 58 and walking 13 in 46.2 innings. He made his Triple-A debut on September 3, tossing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks against Norfolk.

Bradley features a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98 mph, a sharp curveball that he can throw for strikes or bury in the dirt, and a developing changeup that has shown some promise. He has a smooth delivery and a strong frame, and he has shown excellent command and poise on the mound. He is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Rays’ system by MLB Pipeline and the No. 100 prospect in baseball by Baseball America.

Eflin, 28, has been a solid addition to the Rays’ rotation since they acquired him from the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline. He has made eight starts for Tampa Bay, going 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, striking out 40 and walking nine in 44.2 innings. He has helped the Rays maintain their lead in the AL East and secure a playoff spot for the third consecutive year.

However, Eflin has been dealing with some elbow discomfort in his last few outings, and the Rays decided to shut him down for precautionary reasons. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday that revealed some inflammation in his right elbow, but no structural damage. The Rays are hopeful that he will be able to return before the end of the regular season or at least be ready for the postseason.

The Rays have not announced who will take Eflin’s spot in the rotation, but they have several options to choose from. They could use an opener and a bullpen game, as they have done many times before, or they could give a spot start to someone like Luis Patiño, Shane McClanahan, or Drew Rasmussen, who have all pitched well for the Rays this year. They could also call up another prospect from Durham, such as Shane Baz or Brent Honeywell Jr., who have both been impressive in Triple-A.

The Rays have a reputation for developing and utilizing pitching talent, and Bradley is the latest example of that. He will join a staff that has been one of the best in baseball this year, despite dealing with several injuries and trades.

The Rays have a team ERA of 3.57, which ranks third in the majors behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. They also have a team WHIP of 1.17, which ranks fourth in the majors behind the same two teams and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Rays will look to sweep the Red Sox on Wednesday and extend their lead in the AL East to nine games. They have already clinched a playoff berth and are closing in on their second straight division title. They have a magic number of four to eliminate the Red Sox from contention and a magic number of six to clinch the division outright.

Final Thoughts: Rays Promote Top Pitching Prospect Taj Bradley, Place Zach Eflin on IL

The Tampa Bay Rays have made a significant roster move by promoting one of their top pitching prospects, Taj Bradley, and placing Zach Eflin on the 10-day injured list due to elbow inflammation.

Bradley, who is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the Rays’ system by MLB Pipeline and the No. 100 prospect in baseball by Baseball America, has been dominant in the minor leagues this season and has a promising future with the team.

With a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98 mph, a sharp curveball, and a developing changeup, Bradley has excellent command and poise on the mound. He has a smooth delivery and a strong frame, and he has shown tremendous potential in the minors this year.

The Rays are known for their pitching talent, and Bradley is the latest example of their ability to develop and utilize pitching prospects effectively.

Eflin has been a solid addition to the Rays’ rotation since they acquired him from the Phillies at the trade deadline. He has helped the Rays maintain their lead in the AL East and secure a playoff spot for the third consecutive year.

However, his elbow discomfort has been a concern in his last few outings, and the Rays have decided to shut him down for precautionary reasons. Fortunately, an MRI revealed no structural damage, and the Rays are hopeful that he will return before the end of the regular season or at least be ready for the postseason.

The Rays have several options to replace Eflin in the rotation, including using an opener and a bullpen game or giving a spot start to someone like Luis Patiño, Shane McClanahan, or Drew Rasmussen. They could also call up another prospect from Triple-A Durham, such as Shane Baz or Brent Honeywell Jr., who have both been impressive in the minors.

Overall, the Rays have been one of the best teams in baseball this year, thanks in part to their excellent pitching staff. With Bradley’s promotion and their various options to replace Eflin in the rotation, they remain in a strong position to make a deep playoff run. The Rays will look to extend their lead in the AL East and sweep the Red Sox on Wednesday, further solidifying their postseason aspirations.