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Bradley To Make MLB Debut As Eflin Needs IL Stint

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

The top pitching prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays will get to make his debut a lot earlier than he likely expected.

Taj Bradley will make his MLB debut Tuesday after the Rays announced they were placing pitcher Zach Eflin on the 15-day injured list with lower back tightness.

The 29-year-old said the issue occurred following his last start April 7 against Oakland.

”I pushed the bullpen back out a day, went out yesterday and kind of reaggravated a little bit,” Eflin said.  “So it doesn’t necessarily make sense this early in the year to go out tomorrow and potentially make it a worse situation than it is.”

Bradley has made two starts for Triple-A Durham so far in 2023, and Rays manager Kevin Cash knows the right-handler will be excited to be on the mound facing big league hitters in the Red Sox.

”It’s a rush for any young player that first time you get called up,” Cash said.  “But I know he’s got a bunch of guys that will be excited for him here.  He’s got a bunch of guys excited for him in Durham.  And I hope we can just continue with the hitting that we’ve done and give him a little bit of support.”

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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