Chase Whitley enjoyed a successful late-season cameo in his return from May 2015 Tommy John surgery, giving up just two earned runs over 10.1 innings in four relief appearances, before doing the same over four frames in his sole start on the final day of the regular season against the Rangers. The 27-year-old posted an impressive 9.4 K/9 rate on the strength of 15 whiffs over his five trips to the mound and saw his fastball get back up to just over 90 mph. The former Yankees prospect makes for an intriguing candidate for a bottom-of-the-rotation spot this coming spring, and should be that much stronger after his first healthy offseason in two years. Given his past body of work at the minor league level in the Yankees organization, the right-hander could prove to be a solid source in the categories of wins, strikeouts and ERA at a minimum if he can secure a starting spot. More likely, he'll work in relief with the Rays and serve as an insurance policy if injuries deplete the team's rotation depth.
Whitley earned his first hold of the season in Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Astros, giving up a hit and a walk over 1.2 scoreless innings. Whitley got six outs on an efficient 22 pitches, marking his third strong appearance since being called up from Triple-A Durham on April 15. The 27-year-old righty has given up a hit in each trip to the mound, but he's yet to surrender a run over 6.2 innings. While his control could use some improvement -- considering he's issued at least one free pass in each outing -- he's been a pleasant surprise as a multi-inning option thus far.
Whitley fired two scoreless innings in Monday's 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, giving up a hit and issuing a walk. Called up from Triple-A Durham on Saturday as a result of Jake Odorizzi's hamstring injury, Whitley looked strong in his first 2017 appearance at the big-league level. The 27-year-old righty generated a 1-1 record, 4.15 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 13 innings this spring, and he'd made one start for Durham before being called up, giving up one earned run on a solo home run over three innings. Whitley is expected to be deployed out of the bullpen for the time being but can start in a pinch if needed.
Whitley was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Saturday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 27-year-old just missed out on a rotation spot this spring, but with Jake Odorizzi (hamstring) landing on the disabled list, Whitley will get another shot at the major league level. He has plenty of starting experience, but the Rays are planning to deploy him in the bullpen upon his arrival.
Whitley was optioned to Triple-A Durham on Thursday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. The right-hander was working his way back from 2015 Tommy John surgery and said he's been happy with the way his arm feels. However, Whitley lost out on a spot in the Rays' rotation. He'll stick around as organizational depth should a need arise.
Whitley, who gave up a hit and walk while recording two strikeouts over 1.1 scoreless innings in Friday's loss to the Pirates, could be deployed as a long reliever if the Rays deal Erasmo Ramirez, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 27-year-old righty would provide the Rays with an experienced arm in the bullpen capable of going multiple innings, as he has 17 career starts under his belt, 16 of which came with the Yankees before Tommy John surgery. Whitley has had an uneven spring, generating a 4.91 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 11:2 K:BB over 11 innings across five appearances.
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