ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays designated for assignment right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo this afternoon to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who faces the Red Sox tonight at Tropicana Field.
Left-hander Erick Bedard, thought to be the odd-man out when Hellickson returned, remains in the bullpen. That move can be seen as insurance in case David Price is traded before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Oviedo was signed before the 2013 season and spent last year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. The original idea was Oviedo would replace Fernando Rodney this season as the closer. That didn’t work out as planned.
Instead, Oviedo was used as a set-up man this season. After beginning the season with 14 scoreless outings in his first 15 appearances, Oviedo began to struggle. He allowed runs in nine of his last 17 outings. His ERA increased from 2.48 to 3.69 over his last three appearances.
The Rays have 10 days to trade or place Oviedo on waivers.