Notes: Switzer gets call to Majors

Rays notes: Switzer gets call to Majors

ST. PETERSBURG -- Following Wednesday night's game, the Devil Rays selected left-hander Jon Switzer from Triple-A Durham to take the place of Ruddy Lugo, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mid-back strain.

Switzer, 26, will be spending time with the Rays for the fourth time in the in the last four seasons; his most recent tour with the club came during a three-week stint in 2005. He has made 26 appearances for Durham this season, all in relief, and has compiled a 3-0 record with a 0.87 ERA; opponents have hit just .191 off him and lefties .132.

Switzer attributed his being healthy for his outstanding performance this season.

"[Durham pitching coach] Joe Coleman cleared up my front side so I can throw without putting more pressure on my elbow," Switzer said. "I had [an elbow problem] in '02 and a little bit last year. It's just a way to take pressure off the elbow."

Switzer's repertoire includes a fastball, slider and changeup.

"Biggest thing this year is those guys using me in situations that are good for them and me," Switzer said. "They've been using me against a lot of lefties."

Given the fact the Rays have no left-handers in their bullpen, manager Joe Maddon called Switzer's callup a good opportunity.

"Yes, it is a good opportunity for him," Maddon said. "We're looking for one of those guys. A lot of teams are looking for those guys, a lefty who can get a lefty out. If you're a lefty who gets righties out that's wonderful, but you have to get a lefty out to truly be a valuable left-hander."

When Maddon announced Switzer's callup after Wednesday night's game, he called Switzer "Barry" Switzer in reference to the former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys football coach. Switzer said he is not related to Barry.

"He's an Oklahoma guy," Switzer said. "I'm from Texas. We try to keep those separate."

Burroughs designated for assignment: To clear room for Switzer on the Rays' 40-man roster, third baseman Sean Burroughs was designated for assignment, which means the Rays have 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on him.

Burroughs came to the Rays in a trade during the Winter Meetings that sent Dewon Brazelton to the Padres. Heading into Spring Training, he was expected to be the team's starting third baseman, but that was before Aubrey Huff moved back to third.

"I like this fellow," Maddon said. "I got to know him this spring. He was hurting a little bit. But obviously, if you look at what he did with the bat, he just wasn't driving the ball like you need someone in that position to do. Defensively very good, very good defender as advertised. His offense did not want to show up."

Don't go changing: James Shields ran his record to 4-0 Wednesday night and Maddon hopes the right-hander continues with his same approach.

"We've been talking and what I want to see out of him is what I saw the very first day," Maddon said. "He had this look about him. He had this intensity about his preparation. He has fun at the right moment and he gets kind of serious at the right moment. I like that. And I told him about that. And that's the very first impression he made on me.

"I've seen several other young pitchers come into the league with that kind of look that have turned out to be pretty successful. And that was the one thing when I saw that it really turned me on. And I've reminded him about that. I'd like to see him stay there regardless of any kind of success he has."

This and that: No announcement has been made regarding suspended outfielder Josh Hamilton regarding whether he can continue his comeback. ... Catcher Josh Paul was elected to the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame for his 1995 summer season with Cotuit when he led the league with a .364 average, won leave MVP honors, and was named the Outstanding Pro Prospect. ... Now that Arizona has played a game at Tropicana Field, only the Cubs and Astros have not played in St. Petersburg. The Nationals played at Tropicana Field when they were the Expos. ... Carl Crawford's stolen base Wednesday night was career steal 193, moving him past Robbie Alomar for the eighth most before the age of 25 (since 1900).

Up next: The Rays welcome the Braves to Tropicana Field for a three-game series that begins on Friday night with a 7:15 p.m. ET contest. Left-hander Casey Fossum will start for the Rays and will be opposed by right-hander John Smoltz.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.