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Bulls' Yates gets first big league call-up

Posted June 7

The Tampa Bay Rays recalled RHP Kirby Yates from the Durham Bulls Saturday, marking the first career big-league call-up for the Hawaiian reliever.

In 2014 the 27-year-old closer has been near-flawless, going 1-0 with a 0.36 ERA while recording 16 saves in 16 save opportunities. Over 21 appearances, spanning 25 innings, he has surrendered just one run on 10 hits and struck out 35. At the time of his promotion, he ranks third in all of Minor League Baseball in saves, while converting the most saves in all of professional baseball without blowing a save opportunity. Dating back to the 2013 season, and including the 2013 postseason, the reliever has converted each of his last 22 save chances.

Named the 2013 Tampa Bay Rays Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year and a midseason International League All-Star, Yates went 3-2 with a 1.90 ERA while converting 20-of-23 save chances for the Bulls a season ago. The product of Yavapai College averaged 13.57 strikeouts per nine innings, the second-best mark among Triple-A relievers, while holding opponents to a .175 batting average, the fourth-best average against in the International League.

The younger brother of former Major Leaguer Tyler Yates, who spent parts of five seasons as a reliever in the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations, he becomes just the second player in MLB history with the given name Kirby, joining late Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins. A native of Lihue, Hawaii, Yates was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 26th round of the 2005 draft but did not sign, and was later signed by the Rays as a non-drafted free agent on June 19, 2009.

Yates becomes the 12th Durham player to be promoted to Tampa Bay this season, one more player than all of 2013. To make room for Yates on the 25-man roster, the Rays designated RHP Josh Lueke for assignment.

The Governors’ Cup Champion Durham Bulls continue their current homestand tonight at 7:05pm against the Norfolk Tides. Tickets are available at the DBAP box office, by phone at 919.956.BULL, or online at durhambulls.com.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1
 
Final
TAM 4
BOS 3
Final
MIA 9
NYM 6
Final
ATL 0
PHI 7
Final
BAL 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 5
PIT 4
Final
CHC 4
MIL 2
Final
CLE 1
DET 12
Final
OAK 6
SEA 1
Final
SDP 3
ARI 1
Final
COL 10
SFG 9
Final
KAN 4
TEX 3
Final
LOS 4
WAS 6
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
MIL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PIT
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
WAS
 
Final
LOU 31
MIAMI 13
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1