Jon Switzer Recalled To The Majors By Tampa Bay

May 14, 2005

Courtesy of DevilRays.com

KANSAS CITY -- When Jon Switzer heard the Devil Rays had called him up from Double-A, he thought the news was just another clubhouse prank.

When he later confirmed the move with Montgomery Biscuits manager Charlie Montoyo, well, he was surprised, and just a little bit shocked.

'I thought he was joking, actually,' Switzer said. 'Now I just have to accept the fact that I have work to do, to prove to I can pitch here, to myself and to (the team).'

Switzer's promotion shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise to the 25-year-old lefty, though. After six starts at Montgomery, he had a 3-1 record and a 3.45 ERA. In 33 1/3 innings, he had struck out 20 and walked only five.

This callup is Switzer's third with the Rays. He was called up twice during the 2003 season, on Aug. 1 and Sept. 12. He made his Major League debut on Aug. 2 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

During the 2003 season, Switzer appeared in five games, all in relief, and built up a 7.45 ERA. He neither won nor lost a game. He missed all of last season with an injured left shoulder and underwent season-ending surgery June 25.

This time around, Switzer will again be used as a reliever, though manager Lou Piniella said he will not use the lefty when the Rays have a lead.

'He's ready to pitch right now, and I will use him when we're behind,' Piniella said of Switzer, who last pitched Saturday against the Carolina Mudcats. 'I'm not going to use him to protect a lead, not yet.

'Here's hoping we don't have to use him too much here in Kansas City,' Piniella said with a laugh. 'That would mean we're behind.'

Switzer, too, said he was ready to go and that his arm felt good.

'There are no limitations as far as pitches or what I can throw,' he said. 'I pitched five days ago, so I'm ready.'

Switzer was called up to fill right-hander Dewon Brazelton's roster spot. Brazelton was sent down Wednesday to Triple-A Durham after he fell to 1-7 this season with a 6.43 ERA and an American League-leading 29 walks. Left-hander Casey Fossum will replace Brazelton in the rotation, while Switzer takes Fossum's spot in the bullpen.

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