Ruggiano on DL, Brignac called up
Shortstop prospects Beckham, Lee each promoted a level
ST. PETERSBURG -- Stuck in the middle of a disappointing season, the Rays optioned shortstop Reid Brignac to Triple-A Durham on July 23.
Less than a month later, Tampa Bay recalled Brignac on Wednesday as outfielder Justin Ruggiano was put on the 15-day disabled list with left knee bursitis.
"[Ruggiano] has been bothered by this," manager Joe Maddon said. "I don't even know if it's turf related or not, but his knee has been kind of achy."
The injury opened a slot back up for Brignac, who had been hitting .193 with a homer and 10 RBIs with the Rays this season before being sent down.
"[Getting the call back up] couldn't have been quicker for me," Brignac said. "I got some time to think and just clear my head and get back to enjoying playing baseball again. I kind of lost that for a little while, and I got back to having fun."
In 11 games with the Bulls, Brignac posted a .231 batting average to go along with one homer. Brignac also earned seven walks, as opposed to striking out six times.
But before Wednesday's game, Maddon made it clear that the shortstop still has some work to do with Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton.
"We didn't cover everything we wanted to with Reid while he was there, but he is coming up to play occasionally," Maddon said. "He's not come back up here to necessarily start. He will play, but I'm going to continue with what we've been doing. We still have a lot of work to do with him."
To continue the Rays' shortstop shuffle, the club also promoted Tim Beckham from Double-A Montgomery to Durham and Hak-Ju Lee from Class A Charlotte to Montgomery on Wednesday.
Beckham, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 Draft, hit .275 with seven home runs and 57 RBIs in 107 games with the Biscuits this season. The 21-year-old also stole 15 bases and is third in the Southern League with 82 runs scored, but committed a team-leading 20 errors.
Lee, who was acquired in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs in the offseason, led Charlotte with a .317 batting average this season and collected four homers and 22 RBIs. However, he also struggled in the field with 16 errors.
Maddon couldn't have been happier for the the pair of Rays prospects.
"That's good stuff right there. I love that," he said. "You want to keep a guy back to make sure he's ready, but you don't want to leave him in the oven too long. You want to get him out there so he doesn't get stale. It's good to be challenged."
Anthony Chiang is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.