Rays Designate Ernesto Frieri
The Rays have designated reliever Ernesto Frieri for assignment, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
Frieri signed with the Rays during the winter, hopeful he could get back on track and help fill the void left by Joel Peralta. He couldn’t. Instead his troubles intensified in spite of some mechanical and arsenal tweaks, resulting in a 4.63 ERA and team-worst 2.3 home-run rate. Frieri never regained the deception that made him a reliable late-inning reliever, nor did he regain the velocity he lost over the winter.
Because Frieri was outrighted last year by the Pirates, he can reject another outright assignment in favor of free agency. However, doing so would result in a forfeiture of what remained on his salary. As such, expect Frieri to report to Durham.
It’s unclear who will replace Frieri on the 25- or 40-man rosters. Andrew Bellatti was recalled on Monday in place of the injured Tim Beckham, leaving the Rays with a short bench. Presumably a position player will be added to the roster in the coming hours.