Rays call up four with more on the way

Rays call up four with more on the way

ST. PETERSBURG -- Four players joined the Rays from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday and more will be arriving soon now that Major League rosters can be expanded.

Right-handers Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Bennett along with outfielder Fernando Perez and catcher Shawn Riggans were in uniform for Tuesday night's contest against the Red Sox.

"It's nice to be able to have the extra options as the game is in progress," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Fernando is here to run a little bit. We definitely have a bunch of outfielders if the need arises...

"We have enough catching now. And of course, the bullpen permits that you won't have to use somebody you don't want to on a bad day or a good day. It's nice to have different options."

Maddon said more players will be called up at the end of the week and next week. But the Rays won't be leaving players at Durham just to help the Bulls in the International League playoffs.

"We're not going to leave people there we want here," Maddon said.

Likely players to be called up include right-hander Wade Davis, outfielder Matt Joyce and newly acquired infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez.

Sonnanstine, who began the season in the Rays' starting rotation, jumped right into action as the Rays' starter on Tuesday night.

At Durham, Sonnanstine posted seven quality starts in nine outings while compiling a 5-3 record with a 4.40 ERA. He was optioned to Durham on June 27 when Scott Kazmir returned from the 15-day disabled list. In 15 starts for the Rays this season, he posted a 6-7 mark with a 6.61 ERA.

Sonanstine was 5-0 with a 4.54 ERA in six home starts, compared to 1-7 with an 8.22 ERA in nine road starts.

Perez has missed all of the current Major League season since dislocating his left wrist in a March 10 Spring Training game. The injury required surgery and he has since completed rehab assignments with the Gulf Coast League Rays, Class A Charlotte and Durham, where he hit .313 with seven stolen bases and nine runs scored in 12 games.

Riggans hit .200 with a home run and five RBIs in 11 games after joining Durham on Aug. 1. He broke camp with the Rays and played one game before spending 97 games on the Major League disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

Bennett made seven relief appearances with the Rays after signing with the team on Aug. 1. He was optioned to Durham on Aug. 15 and has started two games since then, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.