ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In advance of tonight’s reserve list deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have selected seven players to their 40-man roster: right-handed pitchers Brent Honeywell, Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos and José Mujica, first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers, outfielder Justin Williams and left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. Tonight’s moves bring the Rays 40-man roster to 39 players.
Honeywell, 22, went 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA (136.2-IP, 53-ER) in 26 starts between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, earning a promotion after two starts at the Double-A level. He led Rays minor leaguers with 172 strikeouts, tied for second in wins and ranked eighth in ERA (min. 100 IP). Among International League pitchers, he ranked second with 152 strikeouts, trailing Yarbrough (159), and tied for third with 12 wins. Following the season, Baseball America tabbed him as having the Best Changeup in the IL in its Best Tools survey. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 11 prospect in baseball and the top prospect in the Rays system. Selected by the Rays in the second round of the 2014 June Draft, he is 31-19 with a 2.88 ERA (416-IP, 133-ER) in 79 appearances (78 starts) over four minor league seasons.
Castillo, 23, split the season with Montgomery and Durham, going 4-5 with a 2.76 ERA (71.2-IP, 22-ER) and 15 saves in 51 appearances (one start). He led Rays minor leaguers in saves and was named the organization’s Best Relief Pitcher by the Rays Baseball Operations department following the season. He posted a 1.86 ERA (29-IP, 6-ER) in 21 appearances for Montgomery, then ended the season in Durham and went on to record the save in the Governors’ Cup-clinching win and the Triple-A National Championship Game. He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in March 2014 and is 11-16 with a 2.97 ERA (187.2-IP, 62-ER) in 124 appearances (one start) over four minor league seasons.
Chirinos, 23, went 13-5 with a 2.73 ERA (168.1-IP, 51-ER) in 27 appearances (26 starts) between Montgomery and Durham and was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department following the season. He ranked second in the organization in ERA (min. 100 IP), tied for second in wins and ranked third with 141 strikeouts. In 23 appearances (22 starts) with Durham, he ranked among International League leaders in ERA (2.74, fourth), wins (12, tied for third), innings pitched (141, fifth) and WHIP (0.98, second). He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in June 2012 and is 36-17 with a 2.75 ERA (474.1-IP, 145-ER) in 98 appearances (70 starts) over five minor league seasons.
Mujica, 21, went 14-8 with a 3.04 ERA (165.2-IP, 56-ER) in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Montgomery, earning a promotion after two starts with the Stone Crabs. He led Rays minor leaguers in wins and ranked fourth in ERA (min. 100 IP). He was selected to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team, and finished the season ranking among SL leaders in wins (13, tied for first), ERA (3.03, sixth), innings pitched (154.1, third), WHIP (1.11, fourth) and opponents’ batting average (.225, third). He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in July 2012 and is 27-18 with a 3.18 ERA (395.2-IP, 140-ER) in 77 appearances (70 starts) over five minor league seasons.
Bauers, 22, spent the entire season with Durham, batting .263/.368/.412 (128-for-486) with 31 doubles, 13 home runs, 63 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 132 games. He led the International League with 79 runs scored, ranked second with 78 walks and fifth with a .368 on-base percentage. He is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 72 prospect in baseball and the No. 5 prospect in the Rays system. He was acquired by the Rays from the San Diego Padres in a three-team, 11-player trade in December 2014. Over five minor league seasons, he has hit .275/.361/.409 (555-for-2,018) with 115 doubles, 46 home runs, 303 RBI and 45 stolen bases.
Williams, 22, spent the entire regular season with Montgomery, batting .301/.364/.489 (110-for-366) with 21 doubles, 14 home runs and 72 RBI in 96 games. Following the season, he was named Most Valuable Player for Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department, ranking among Southern League leaders in batting average (fourth) and slugging percentage (third). He also finished among Rays organizational leaders in home runs (second) and RBI (third). He was named to the SL postseason All-Star Team, and was promoted to Durham for the team’s postseason run. He was acquired by the Rays from the Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2014 and has hit .308/.348/.445 (516-for-1,677) with 99 doubles, 36 home runs and 262 RBI over five minor league seasons.
Yarbrough, 25, went 13-6 with a 3.43 ERA (157.1-IP, 50-ER) in 26 starts for Durham, his first season in the Rays organization. He tied for second in the organization in wins and ranked second with 159 strikeouts to Honeywell (172). He led the International League in strikeouts and also ranked among IL leaders in ERA (eighth), wins (second), innings pitched (third) and games started (tied for first). He was acquired by the Rays from the Seattle Mariners in January 2017 and is 29-19 with a 3.22 ERA (425-IP, 152-ER) in 87 appearances (83 starts) over four minor league seasons.
84 Days Until Pitchers and Catchers Report to Spring Training