Now Commenting On:

After replacing Lueke on roster, Yates makes debut

After replacing Lueke on roster, Yates makes debut play video for After replacing Lueke on roster, Yates makes debut

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays designated reliever Josh Lueke for assignment Saturday and recalled right-hander Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham.

And Joe Maddon immediately called on the 27-year-old Yates, who was 16-for-16 in save opportunities at Durham this year, to make his Major League debut with two outs in the top of the seventh inning of the Rays' 7-4 loss to the Mariners. Yates, who learned he was being called up at 1:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning and flew to St. Petersburg before the game, pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings, striking out two.

"Today was kind of mellow," Yates said after the game. "I think I got all my emotions out last night. I was just having fun out there. I wasn't nervous."

"Yates threw the ball extremely well," Maddon said. "He's got an explosive fastball that jumps on hitters. He has earned this opportunity. He could be a major pitcher for many years."

Lueke was 1-2 with a 5.64 ERA in 25 games for the Rays.

"I swear I don't know why it didn't work out," said Maddon when asked what went wrong with Lueke. "He's attempted to do everything we asked him to do. He actually did a lot of things well, but without a lot of results. We felt we had to do something.

"We really thought Lueke was part of our future. I think we gave him ample opportunity. It still may happen for him. He's got that kind of stuff."

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español