The Tampa Bay Rays have messed with success.
The Rays traded relief pitcher Kevin Jepson, one of their golden trio out of the bullpen this year. On most nights the Rays have won this season, it has been by getting five or so innings out of their starting pitcher and then an inning each out of Jepson, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger.
The Rays will get minor leaguers Chin Wa-Hu and Alexis Tapia from the Minnesota Twins in return.
Hu (CHEE-WAY HOO), 21, was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game this season, going 5-3 with a 2.44 ERA (84.2-IP, 23-ER) in 15 starts for Class-A Fort Myers. He currently ranks third in the FSL in ERA and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (7.8). Last season, his 2.15 ERA (71-IP, 17-ER) across two levels ranked eighth among Twins minor leaguers. Over parts of three minor league seasons, he is 16-5 with a 2.31 ERA (198.1-IP, 51-ER) and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Hu was ranked by ESPN’s Keith Law as the No. 16 prospect in the Twins organization entering the season. He was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent out of Taiwan in 2012.
Tapia (TAH-pee-uh), 19, is 8-5 with a 2.94 ERA (122.1-IP, 40-ER) over parts of three minor league seasons. He has made eight appearances (six starts) between Fort Myers and Rookie-level Elizabethton this season, going 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA (35-IP, 14-ER), and had a career-high nine strikeouts in his last start on July 27. He was signed by the Twins out of Venezuela in 2012.
Jepsen, 31, was acquired for Matt Joyce in the off-season. He made 46 appearances for Tampa Bay and had 2.81 ERA, a 1.30 Whip and 34 strikeouts. Last year, he had a lower walk rate and higher strikeout rate.