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According to a report from Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, the Tampa Bay Rays will promote two-way player Brendan McKay to start Saturday versus the Texas Rangers.
McKay, the team’s No. 2 prospect and the No. 23 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was selected fourth overall out of Louisville in the 2017 MLB Draft. In 13 appearances, between Double-A and Triple-A this year, McKay was 6-0 with a 1.22 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 88 strikeouts.
Originally drafted as a first baseman, Brendan McKay’s dominance on the mound forced the Rays to limit him to DH duties this offseason to focus on his pitching. Though his hitting is not yet ready for the big leagues, he has improved since moving up to Durham, hitting .265 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 15 games.
As exciting as it is to think about having another two-way player in the MLB after watching Shohei Ohtani’s rise to fame, there are still; however, plenty of question marks going forward. McKay pitched just 78 1/3 innings in 2018 and is already at 66 2/3 this season. In the Minors, McKay rarely exceeded five innings and only pitched once every sixth day in order to keep his innings to a minimum. There is also the case of how serious the Rays are about McKay’s long term future as a true two-player as he still needs grooming at the plate. It is possible that this may just be a spot start but if McKay impresses enough on the mound Saturday the Rays may well be inclined to keep him up and allow him to improve his batting on the fly.
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