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Tampa Bay Rays place C Mike Zunino in the Injured List, activate OF Austin Meadows

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to tonight’s series opener against the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays have made a slew of roster moves as they have placed catcher Mike Zunino (quad) on the 10-day Injured List and have activated outfielder Austin Meadows (thumb) from the Injured List.

The Rays have also selected the contracts of catcher Anthony Bemboom and right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler, while also optioning infielder Andrew Velazquez back to Triple-A Durham.

The Rays catching core has suffered a couple of serious blows over the past few days with Zunino joining Michael Perez (oblique) on the Injured List. The Rays will rely on Nick Ciuffo as the primary catcher for the time being, but will also likely be scouring the market for a veteran catcher to add some depth to their depleted backstop situation.

Zunino suffered his injury as he was running out a groundball during Wednesday’s afternoon contest against the Diamondbacks. Although he’d stay in the game to run, he’d be removed the following half inning and has now been placed on the Injured List. Over 26 game so far, Zunino has hit .220/.260/.407 with 3 HR over 96 plate appearances.

Austin Meadows rejoins the Rays after excelling to start the year. Thus far over 20 games, Meadows was looking like a possible MVP candidate as he hit .351/.422/.676 with 6 HR over 83 plate appearances.

Even without Zunino, expectations will be high for the weekend series against the rival New York Yankees.