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04/21/12 12:45 AM ET

Rays send Brignac to Triple-A

ST. PETERSBURG -- Following Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Twins, the Rays optioned infielder Reid Brignac to Triple-A Durham.

The move paved the way for first baseman/outfielder Brandon Allen to be added to the Rays' roster on Saturday.

Brignac was the Rays' starting shortstop entering the 2011 season. But he struggled with the bat, and has continued to do so this season, as well.

"We need to get him at-bats, we need to get him playing for him and for us to fulfill his potential. And if something were to happen, he'd be game ready to come back and play shortstop," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Having [Elliot Johnson] here, Elliot's able to fill those functions that Reid was also filling at the same time.

"... He has a ways to go to fulfill his offensive potential. He's still one of the best defensive shortstops in the league. We still have to get him better in different components of the game."

Brignac has two hits in 17 at-bats this season for a .118 average.

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