Plouffe added to Rays' 25-man roster

Infielder acquired two days ago; Martinez designated for assignment

June 19th, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG -- Two days after acquiring from the Athletics in exchange for cash considerations, the Rays added the veteran infielder to their 25-man roster, the club announced Monday. To make room for Plouffe on the active roster, Tampa Bay designated utility man for assignment.

Plouffe, who last played June 14 at Miami, told reporters he and his pregnant wife packed up their 2-year-old and their San Francisco apartment, then boarded a flight for the Tampa Bay-area that landed at 12:30 a.m. ET Monday.

"So it was a difficult day yesterday," Plouffe said. "But I'm happy I'm here, and I'm ready to go. I missed baseball. You know, it got taken away from me for a little bit there. I missed it. So I'm happy to be in there. I'm excited to be a part of this team."

Plouffe, 31, batted .214 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs in 58 games, and played mostly third base for Oakland this season. His last full season came in 2015 with the Twins, when he hit .244 with 22 homers and 86 RBIs in 152 games.

"[My] season hasn't been going too well to date," said Plouffe, who signed with the A's as a free agent after the 2016 season. "I got over to Oakland. First time in a different organization. And just never kind of found my foot in there. Never got in a rhythm. They had this guy, Matt Chapman, coming up. And he was doing really well in Triple-A. When they decided to call him up, I figured that's probably the time my number's going to be called.

"I don't think that's typical of me. I think I'm capable of [playing] a lot better baseball. And I look forward to showing that here."

A career .269/.345/.459 hitter against left-handed pitching, Plouffe will provide a boost to his new club's offense versus southpaws. The Rays rank last in the American League and 29th in MLB against lefties, hitting just .227/.311/.378 against them.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Plouffe's arrival will allow the Rays to give veteran some rest.

"We've asked a lot of [Rasmus], playing-wise," Cash said. "We have to kind of factor in his health and his legs. The hip situation, all of those, to give him some time off his feet."