Tampa Bay demotes Thompson

RICH THOMPSON

BY DONNIE COLLINS

Times-Shamrock Writer

Rich Thompson’s return to the big leagues is over.

At least, for now.

Tampa Bay optioned the speedy outfielder from Montrose to Triple-A Durham on Tuesday, just hours before the Rays opened a three-game series at Yankee Stadium against the New York Yankees. Outfielder Desmond Jennings was activated from the disabled list and takes his place on the roster.

Thompson, 33, wasn’t in the Bulls’ starting lineup when they began a four-game series against, coincidentally, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees atDurhamBullsAthleticParkon Tuesday night.

Thompson was 1 for 16 with two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases during his stint withTampaBay, who acquired him in a trade withPhiladelphiafor outfielder Kyle Hudson on May 16. The deal enabled Thompson to be called to the big leagues for the first time since he opened the 2004 season on the Kansas City Royals’ roster.

He had been stuck on 0 for 1 in his big league career for more than eight years.

But May 17, in his first start forTampaBay, he collected his first big league hit, a single againstBostonleft-hander Felix Doubront. After that, Thompson was used sparingly, making only three more starts. Still, with minor league options remaining, he was not removed fromTampaBay’s 40-man roster, meaning he can be called to the big leagues at any point this season by the Rays without a corresponding move to take a player off the roster.