The Tampa Bay Rays called up six players Tuesday when major league rosters expanded to 40. That included former Covington Catholic and University of Kentucky star Luke Maile, who reached the majors for the first time in his career.
Maile was in Baltimore at Camden Yards ahead of Tuesday’s game. “It was the longest one-hour flight ever,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.
“I walked out to the field, and had to turn around,” he said. “It didn’t even look real.”
Maile, a 6-foot-3, 226-pound catcher, made his major league debut in the top of the eighth inning as a pinch hitter against the Orioles. He flew out to left field and stayed in to catch the last two innings.
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Prior to his promotion, Maile hit .207 with five home runs and 29 RBI in 89 games for Triple-A Durham this season. He batted .268 with five home runs and 37 RBI for Double-A Montgomery in 2014. He was a midseason and postseason All-Star in 2013 with Class A Bowling Green when he hit .283 with four homers and 49 RBI.
Maile spent part of spring training with the Rays this year. He was 2-for-11 in nine games with one double, one walk and one RBI.
The 2009 Mr. Baseball winner played three years at Kentucky before the Rays selected him with an eighth-round draft pick in 2012. He batted .295 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI during his career with the Cats.
Tampa Bay also promoted outfielder Mikie Mahtook, infielder Richie Shaffer, left-handers Matt Moore and C.J. Riefenhauser and right-hander Kirby Yates. All those five had already been with Rays at some point this season.