Top prospect Snell to start for Rays on Thursday

Top prospect Snell to start for Rays on Thursday

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will call up top prospect Blake Snell to make a start on Thursday against the Mariners. Matt Andriese (5-0, 2.82 ERA) will move to the bullpen.

Rays manager Kevin Cash didn't commit to Snell being with the Major League club for the long term, but he refused to say it was a spot start either.

"Obviously very excited for Blake," Cash said. "For Matt, I think everybody understands where our bullpen's at, and he's going to go in there and be used as a weapon."

A corresponding roster move hasn't been made yet and will likely be announced before Thursday's game. Snell made his first career start on April 23 at Yankee Stadium, and allowed one run over five innings. He's coming off a 13-strikeout performance in his last start for Triple-A Durham on Friday.

The Rays' bullpen has been taxed coming into Sunday, with relievers Alex Colome, Xavier Cedeno and Erasmo Ramirez each pitching six times over a nine-day stretch. Andriese will be able to eat innings, but he said he had "mixed feelings" about the move.

"It's going to be good for our team," Andriese. "We've had some bullpen struggles as of late. I'm just going to take the same mentality as I've had in the starting rotation."

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.