Rays DFA Cron, Add Five To Roster

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Tampa Bay Rays Communications) — In advance of tonight’s reserve list deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have selected five players to their 40-man roster: left-handed pitcher Kyle Bird, left-handed pitcher Brock Burke, right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut, outfielder Joe McCarthy and outfielder Jesús Sánchez. In addition, the Rays designated first baseman C.J. Cron, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake and left-handed pitcher Hoby Milner for assignment. Right-handed pitcher José Mujica has been outrighted to the minor leagues and is no longer on the 40-man roster. Tonight’s moves bring the Rays 40-man roster to its full capacity.

Bird, 25, went 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA (75.1-IP, 20-ER) in a combined 43 games (6 starts) between Double-A Montgomery and Durham. He limited batters to a .198 batting average (52-for-263) and recorded 88 strikeouts for a 10.51 strikeouts per 9 innings ratio. Currently he is pitching for Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Winter League, where he is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA (18-IP, 4-ER) in 18 relief apps. Over five minor league seasons, he is 15-7 with a 2.64 ERA (307.1-IP, 90-ER) in 185 games (6 starts). Bird was selected in the 35th round of the 2014 June Draft out of Flagler College, after transferring from Florida State University. He is a graduate of Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, Fla.

Burke, 22, was named the 2018 Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA (137.1-IP, 47-ER) in 25 apps (22 starts) between Charlotte and Montgomery. He led Rays minor leaguers with 158 strikeouts—14th most in all of minor league baseball—while ranking fourth in ERA and tied for fourth in wins. He was named Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month in July, going a combined 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA (22-IP, 4-ER) at both levels. Following his July 9 promotion, he went 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA (55.1-IP, 12-ER) in 9 starts for the Biscuits, including a 4-0 mark with a 1.35 ERA (33.1-IP, 5-ER) in his final 5 regular-season starts. Burke was selected in the third round of the 2014 June Draft out of Evergreen (Colo.) High School. 

Gibaut, 25, went 4-3 with a 2.09 ERA (56.0-IP, 13-ER) and 14 saves in 48 appearances for Durham, his first action at the Triple-A level. His 14 saves ranked first among Rays minor leaguers and fourth in the International League. He was selected to the IL midseason All-Star Team and is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 29 prospect in the Rays organization. Selected by the Rays in the 11th round of the 2015 June Draft out of Tulane University, he is 16-7 with a 2.25 ERA (203.2-IP, 51-ER) in 142 appearances over four minor league seasons.

McCarthy, 24, hit .269/.377/.513 (43-for-160) with 13 doubles, 8 home runs and 25 RBI in 47 games with Durham in an injury-shortened 2018 season. He played for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, batting .239/.375/.370 (11-for-46) with 1 double, 3 home runs and 8 RBI in 13 games. He is ranked by MLB.comas the No. 17 prospect in the Rays organization. Selected by the Rays in the fifth round of the 2015 June Draft out of University of Virginia, he has hit .277/.390/.422 (324-for-1169) with 72 doubles, 23 home runs and 164 RBI in 333 games over four minor league seasons.

Sánchez, 21, split the season between Charlotte and Montgomery, batting .282/.324/.433 (129-for-457) with 32 doubles, 11 home runs and 75 RBI in 117 games between the two levels. He hit .301/.331/.462 (108-for-359) in 90 games for Charlotte and was named to the FSL midseason All-Star Team before his promotion to the Double-A level on August 3. He represented the Rays in the All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park, where he started in right field for the World Team. Following the season, he was named Most Valuable Player for Charlotte by the Rays Baseball Operations department and was ranked by Baseball America as the Best Batting Prospect in the FSL in its Best Tools survey. He is currently playing for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in July 2014 and has hit .306/.347/.478 (424-for-1384) with 84 doubles, 21 triples, 37 home runs and 241 RBI over four minor league seasons.

Cron, 28, appeared in 140 games with 125 starts in his first season with the Rays, batting .253/.323/.493 (127-for-501) with 28 doubles, 30 home runs and 74 RBI. He established career highs in games, runs (68), hits, doubles, home runs and RBI. He was acquired by the Rays from the Los Angeles Angels in February and has hit .260/.311/.461 (485-for-1867) with 96 doubles, 89 home runs and 287 RBI across parts of five major league seasons.

Drake, 31, was claimed off waivers by the Rays from the Minnesota Twins on Nov. 1. Last season, he pitched in the majors for the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Angels, Toronto Blue Jays and the Twins, becoming the first player in major league history to pitch for five different teams in one season. Over a combined 44 apps in the majors last season, he went 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA (47.2-IP, 28-ER).

Milner, 27, was acquired by the Rays from the Philadelphia Phillies in July in exchange for cash considerations, and split the season between Triple-A and the majors in the Phillies and Rays organizations. He made four appearances over two stints with the Rays, recording a 6.75 ERA (2.2-IP, 2-ER). Over parts of two seasons in the majors, Milner has a 3.03 ERA (38.2-IP, 13-ER) in 51 appearances. 

Mujica, 22, was limited to 13 games (12 starts) between Rookie-level GCL Rays, Class-A Charlotte and Triple-A Durham in 2018, combining to go 6-2 with a 3.75 ERA (57.2-IP, 24-ER). He underwent Tommy John surgery on Sep 11 and is expected to miss the entire 2019 season. He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in July 2012 and is 33-20 with a 3.26 ERA (453.1-IP, 164-ER) in 90 games (82 starts) over parts of six minor league seasons.


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