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Desmond Jennings Promoted To Rays, Reid Brignac Demoted To Triple-A

From Marc Topkin, St. Pete Times:

#Rays Jennings called up, Brignac optioned to durham

It’s about time that Desmond Jennings got promoted to play left field — apparently he’ll start there tomorrow — but the move to demote Brignac is a bit of a shocker. Many people were speculating that B.J. Upton was involved in a trade, considering that he was pulled from the game for no apparent reason, which forced the Rays to lose the DH and play Damon in left field. Odd? Certainly. And isn’t it weird that the Rays now have five outfielders on their roster: Jennings, Joyce, Upton, Fuld, and Ruggiano? Something feels off here.

Topkin got a quote from Upton stating that he hadn’t been traded and nobody within the industry has heard anything about an Upton deal, which seems to squash those rumors. But still….something just doesn’t feel right. Brignac has struggled mightily this season and deserves a demotion based on his pitiful offense (.207 wOBA), but this leaves Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez to split the duties at shortstop. It’s certainly a very odd roster right now.

I’m thinking it’s either one of two things: Upton did get traded and the shoe just hadn’t dropped yet, or else Friedman decided to demote Brignac because he didn’t want to send Fuld or Ruggiano through waivers. Once Upton is dealt, they’d both be fine outfield depth, so it seems the Rays may have to carry an imbalanced roster for a couple of days in order to keep them both around.

Either way, it points to the Rays dealing Upton sometime soon, so the writing is on the walls. The Desmond Jennings Era in Tampa Bay has officially begun.

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