The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen. To take Jepsen's place on the active roster, the Rays recalled right-handed relief pitcher Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham.
Hu (CHEE-WAY HOO), 21, was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game this season, going 5-3 with a 2.44 ERA (84.2-IP, 23-ER) in 15 starts for Class-A Fort Myers. He currently ranks third in the FSL in ERA and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (7.8). Last season, his 2.15 ERA (71-IP, 17-ER) across two levels ranked eighth among Twins minor leaguers. Over parts of three minor league seasons, he is 16-5 with a 2.31 ERA (198.1-IP, 51-ER) and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Hu was ranked by ESPN's Keith Law as the No. 16 prospect in the Twins organization entering the season. He was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent out of Taiwan in 2012.
Tapia (TAH-pee-uh), 19, is 8-5 with a 2.94 ERA (122.1-IP, 40-ER) over parts of three minor league seasons. He has made eight appearances (six starts) between Fort Myers and Rookie-level Elizabethton this season, going 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA (35-IP, 14-ER), and had a career-high nine strikeouts in his last start on July 27. He was signed by the Twins out of Venezuela in 2012.
Jepsen, who turned 31 on Sunday, was 2-5 with a 2.81 ERA (41.2-IP, 13-ER) in 46 games this season. Among American League relievers, he ranks third with 22 holds and tied for fifth in appearances. He was acquired last December 16 from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, where he spent the first 12 years of his professional career. Jepsen owns a career 3.80 ERA, 15-23 record and 10 saves over eight major league seasons.
Earlier today, the Rays recalled outfielder Mikie Mahtook from Triple-A Durham. Catcher Bobby Wilson, who was designated for assignment following Wednesday's game, was claimed off waivers today by the Texas Rangers.