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Rays News updates

In absence of Tanks, an update.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Erasmo Ramirez incurred what has been called a called a right groin strain. On the bright side, it isn't all doom and gloom. The initial post-game examination on Ramirez was encouraging, although the Rays won't know for a few days if Ramirez will miss time, or become the fifth starting pitcher on the DL.

Don’t quite know the severity of it. So far we’re hearing good things, Rays manager Kevin Cash said. Maybe we caught it early enough, so we’ll see over the next couple of days how he responds to treatment.

Always the eager one, Ramirez said he expects to make his next start, but he and the team will know more Tuesday when he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session.

I don't feel it's that bad, for real, Ramirez said.

Working in the Rays' favor, the team will have a well deserved off-day on Thursday, and they could skip Ramirez’s next turn in the rotation — buying the team nine days of rest before Erasmo's next start. That could be enough time for his groin to heal, dependent upon the severity, and the ultimate diagnosis, of the injury.

If Ramirez is placed on the DL, the expected return of LHP Matt Moore and righties Jake Odorizzi and Andrew Bellatti could mitigate the impact on the rotation.

Moore made his fourth (of five or six) rehab start on Sunday with Triple-A Durham and, and threw 92 pitches over 5-1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits (two home runs) while striking out seven and walking one. The lefty reportedly felt good after after the start, and clocked in the 92-93 mph range with his fastball. He is slated to return to the rotation in 10-15 days, putting his return around July 1.

Bellatti and Odorizzi both reported felt "really, really good" after they threw off the mound for the first time Saturday at Tropicana Field. They are scheduled to throw full bullpen sessions on Monday, and if all goes as planned, Odorizzi would likely need to make two rehab starts before returning.

Moving forward, enter the Blue Jays.

The Jays had dropped four of their last seven before their win over the Rays last night, showing that the mighty team from the great white north can be stopped. The potentially brief lull came after the Blue Jays won 11 in a row, while scoring (on average) close to seven runs per game over the last 18 games. Toronto’s pitching staff allowed just under four runs (on average) per game in that span. Adding to their reputation of being a powerful team, nine of the last 14 wins have been lopsided.

However, the Blue Jays have made a nasty habit of putting it all together, only to return to mediocrity afterward. In fact, they did so in each of the last two seasons.

2014: Toronto won nine straight, and 15 out of 17, then dropped 10 of 13.

2013: Though they won 11 straight, the Blue Jays followed by dropping a pair to Tampa Bay, then losing 19 of the next 25 games (going into the All-Star Break).

Are they a good team? Absolutely, that goes without saying. But, they just can't seem to put it together consistently. The Rays can put some distance between themselves and the Jays with a series win this week. Archer and Karns look to deliver tonight and tomorrow.

Additionally Speaking

— At noon on Sunday afternoon, a 16-year-old French girl made Major League Baseball history," writes Lindsay Berra (MLB.com).

"Melissa Mayeux, a shortstop on the French U-18 junior national team, became the first known female baseball player to be added to MLB's international registration list, which means she will be eligible to be signed by a Major League club on July 2."

Michael Metcalfe (Manic Ball blog) questions how players generally perform after having Tommy John surgery. Metcale concludes that the success rate is fairly high (around 80-85% return to their prior level of performance), although that can be a bit misleading, because "the medical community is more concerned about is the subjective report from the athlete and the objective success of the surgery in restoring the normal stability of the joint."

Eno Sarris (FanGraphs) wonders if baseball is ready for an openly gay player.

Kevin Kiermaier in elite company? Peter Gammons thinks so:

— Forget not, the Rays start the day as one of three teams with 40 wins or more. The other two teams are the St. Louis Cardinals with 45, and the Houston Astros with 41.