The Rays have designated right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis for assignment in order to open a spot on the roster for righty Luis Patino, who’s being recalled from Triple-A Durham to start tonight’s game, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
Yacabonis, 30, was claimed out of the Marlins organization earlier in the month but has struggled considerably in his short time with the Rays, yielding four earned runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 frames. That brings Yacabonis to 11 runs in 13 innings this season (7.62) and boosts his career ERA to a mark of 5.92 in 117 innings between the Orioles, Mariners, Marlins and Rays.
Unsightly as those numbers may be, Yacabonis has a strong track record in both Double-A and Triple-A, and his ability to spin his slider has long intrigued teams. Yacabonis has been designated for assignment several times in his career but has been both claimed off waivers and traded in the past (in addition to a pair of outrights). The 2022 season is now his fifth with some level of Major League activity, further underscoring that teams are intrigued by quite a bit in his profile even if the results haven’t yet aligned with the minor league track record and his slider spin. The Rays will place him on waivers within the next week.
Patino, meanwhile, will return to the big leagues after a roller-coaster run in Durham. He’s missed significant time this season due to a Grade 2 oblique strain, throwing a wrench into the former top prospect’s bid to secure a full-time rotation spot in Tampa Bay. His most recent Triple-A run lasted three appearances: a perfect four-inning outing with four strikeouts, a disastrous start in which he yielded four runs in two-thirds of an inning, and another scoreless five-inning outing (no runs, three hits, two walks, six punchouts).
Patino has yet to establish himself in parts of three Major League seasons, although that’s not exactly unexpected for a pitcher who bursts into the big leagues at age 20. There are still some recent draftees who are the same age as Patino, but the 6’1″ righty nevertheless already has 102 2/3 MLB frames under his belt. There’s ample time for him to solidify his place alongside Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen and, health-permitting, Shane Baz as a vital long-term rotation piece for manager Kevin Cash.