Rays to Promote Riefenhauser | The Process Report

Rays to Promote Riefenhauser

According to Chris Cotillo, the Rays will call up left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser to fill the void in the bullpen created when Brad Boxberger was optioned last night. Riefenhauser, 24, was a 20th round selection in 2010. He was added to the 40-man roster this winter.

A product of Chipola Junior College, Riefenhauser converted from starting to relieving full-time in 2013. The results were measurable and the lefty began to gain some steam as a potential major-league contributor because of his work. He profiles as a second lefty in the bullpen, but could be more than a situational reliever.

Riefenhauser slings the ball from a three-quarters arm slot described to me as “10 o’clock.” He works with a three-pitch mix leading with a low-90s fastball. His best pitch is a slider that comes in about 10 mph slower than the heater. The slide piece is nuisance to left-handed batters, but can be used against right-handers as well. His third option is a changeup, thrown in the low-80s. Though the off-speed sits behind the fastball and slider, it is more than just a show-me offering. Riefenhauser is not a control artist per se, but commonly has an idea of where the ball is going. Chris Crawford of ESPN Draft Blog and MLBDraftInsider.com put the following grades on Riefenhauser in his ranking of the Rays’ top 14 prospects:

FASTBALL 60-60

SLIDER 60-60

CHANGE 55-55

COMMAND 45-50

The length of Riefenhauser’s first callup is to be determined, but it is clear the southpaw has a future at the highest level.



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