Last off-season Rays OF Colby Rasmus required multiple surgeries, one of which was for his hip. During spring training he experienced a slight setback in his recovery that was described as tendinitis, but made a full recovery.
Since he’s paired back up with his old hitting coach Chad Mottola, Rasmus is hitting .281/.318/.579 with a 131 wRC+ and nine home runs.
As of June 19, however, that tendinitis of the hip has returned, so Rasmus is serving a quick DL trip, backdated to the 19th with a plan to return next Friday on the 30th. While he rests, OF Shane Peterson has been recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill his spot on the roster, although one must wonder how temporary that move will be.
All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos and previous closer Brad Boxberger have completed their rehab assignments and are in the Trop tonight. The Rays opted not to activate them on their travel day back to Tropicana Field.
Officially, the players do not know when they’ll return...
#Rays Ramos is here. Said he doesn't know when he'll be activated. "I'm ready. As soon as they tell me I'll be able."— Roger Mooney (@RogerMooney50) June 23, 2017
#rays Boxberger also here. Said he's done with rehab assignment. Said he's just waiting to be given word on when he's activated— Roger Mooney (@RogerMooney50) June 23, 2017
... but assuming tomorrow is a fine bet.
The simplest roster move would be for Ramos to take the roster spot of one of the catchers, Derek Norris or Jesus Sucre. Neither is hitting particularly well, or graded outlandishly on defense.
Among major league catchers, Sucre is 21st on the Baseball Prospectus catcher defense leaderboard, while Norris is 57th. Sucre’s contract does not have any options remaining, so he would have to accept an assignment after passing through waivers to stay in the Rays organization, while Norris’s contract does still have two options remaining. Whether Sucre will have earned his keep over the struggling starter is yet to be seen, but the Rays presumably see Ramos as their number one catcher moving forward.
Tampa Bay may also prefer to keep all three catchers around, though, and have Wilson Ramos DH some days for an easier transition to major league play. While this is unlikely, Shane Peterson as the “25th man” would be the first to go, but he too does not have contract options remaining.
Meanwhile, Brad Boxberger’s reintroduction to the Rays will likely come at the expense of a reliever with options remaining, namely Chase Whitley (who has pitched well in high leverage this season), Jose Alvarado (the only lefty in the ‘pen), or Austin Pruitt (who has ridden the Durham shuttle all year). Without an injury to anyone on the roster, Pruitt seems like the likely arm to go.
One complicating factor: Brad Boxberger will be reinstated from the 60-day DL, which means a spot will need to be opened on the 40-man roster (which includes 10-day DL members, but not 60-day).
The Rays could move RP Diego Moreno to the 60-day DL to make room for Boxberger, as he recently had a setback in his recovery, otherwise one of 1B Rickie Weeks, 2B Brad Miller, or CF Kevin Kiermaier could also be moved to the 60-Day as well.