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09/14/10 8:43 PM ET

McGee called up, sees first action

Highly touted left-hander relieves Garza, records first strikeout

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake McGee was recalled from Triple-A Durham, which is the highly touted prospect's first Major League callup. He was pressed right into action Tuesday against the Yankees, relieving Matt Garza in the fifth inning with the Rays down 5-0 and registering his first career strikeout.

McGee had been with Triple-A Durham since Aug. 7, going 1-1 with a 0.52 ERA in 11 games. He also pitched in two games for the Bulls in the playoffs against Louisville, tossing three scoreless innings of relief.

The left-hander began the season with Double-A Montgomery and made 19 starts before his promotion to Durham, going 3-7 with a 3.57 ERA.

McGee had been on the fast track toward the Major Leagues before having Tommy John surgery on July 8, 2008. On the health front, McGee said he now feels as good as he ever has.

A big question that likely will be answered in the next year is whether McGee will be a starter or a reliever. When asked if the bullpen felt like home or a temporary residence, McGee said it feels like home right now.

"Ever since I've been in the bullpen, I've been really good," McGee said. "My control's gotten better. I've been working on my slider a lot. So it's been working out a lot better for me."

As for the long haul, McGee said they'd have to wait and see how it goes.

"Right now, I feel real comfortable being in the bullpen," McGee said. "Especially after being down there for just a month.

"I like it because it's short stints in different situations with different guys on. No one on, different games, close games. I like it, it's a change of pace for me."

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