The Tampa Bay Rays finalized their roster for Opening Day today with a series of transactions. The club traded RHP Jason Hammel to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league RHP Aneury Rodriguez.
The Rays placed four players on the 15-day disabled list: RHP Chad Bradford (right elbow surgery, retroactive to March 27); RHP Jason Isringhausen (right elbow surgery, retroactive to March 31); OF Fernando Perez (left wrist surgery, retroactive to March 27); and OF B.J. Upton (left shoulder surgery, retroactive to March 27). In addition, the Rays reassigned C Michel Hernandez, INF Adam Kennedy, INF Ray Olmedo, INF Chris Richard, OF Ray Sadler and OF Jon Weber to minor league camp.
Rodriguez, 21, was a midseason California League All-Star last season while pitching for Modesto (A Advanced). In 27 starts, he went 9-10 and ranked among CL leaders in ERA (3.74; 7th), strikeouts (139; 2nd), and innings pitched (156.1; 5th). His two complete-game shutouts led the CL and included a one-hitter and two-hitter. In 2007, he led the South Atlantic League (A) in strikeouts and games started. Rodriguez signed with the Rockies in 2005 out of Higuey, D.R.
Hammel, 26, spent his first full season in the majors in 2008 and went 4-4 with a 4.60 ERA (78.1 IP, 40 ER) and two saves in 40 appearances. With Scott Kazmir on the disabled list to open the 2008 season, he made five starts in April before returning to the bullpen for the remainder of the year. Hammel was selected by the Rays in the 2002 June Draft and has spent his entire career in the Rays organization, including parts of three seasons (2006-08) in the majors.
Pitchers (12): RH Grant Balfour, RH Lance Cormier, RH Matt Garza, LH J.P. Howell, LH Scott Kazmir, RH Joe Nelson, RH Jeff Niemann, RH Troy Percival, RH James Shields, LH Brian Shouse, RH Andy Sonnanstine, RH Dan Wheeler
Catchers (2): Dioner Navarro, Shawn Riggans
Infielders (6): Willy Aybar, Jason Bartlett, Akinori Iwamura, Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, Ben Zobrist
Outfielders (5): Pat Burrell, Carl Crawford, Gabe Gross, Matt Joyce, Gabe Kapler
DL (4): RHP Chad Bradford (15-day), RHP Jason Isringhausen (15-day), OF Fernando Perez (15-day), OF B.J. Upton (15-day)