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LHP/DH Brendan McKay shut down

McKay is the third Rays starter to be sidelined, delaying his return from the COVID-IL.

MLB: JUL 05 Rays Summer Camp Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This should have been Brendan McKay’s moment.

Tonight the Rays will be starting Andrew Kittredge — the night after he earned a save — in an Opener’s role. Kittredge is stepping into the slot vacated by Yonny Chirinos, who went to the injured list with a triceps strain that is not considered serious.

Also on the injured list is Opening Day starter Charlie Morton, who has not shown the same stuff as his Cy Young contending campaign of 2019. After four appearances, he was shut down mid-start with shoulder and back ailments. Such is life this season, where COVID-19 prevented a normal start to the season.

Brendan McKay missed the vast majority of Summer Camp due to his own need for recovery from the virus. The young two-way starter had balanced his own shoulder injury with a six-day pitching schedule that saw him perform well for the Rays last season.

2019: 13 G, 11 GS, 25.9 K%, 7.4 BB%, 4.03 FIP

Now that he’s gotten underway at the alternate training site for the Rays, that shoulder issue has reappeared, and McKay has become the third Rays starter shut down.

Instead, the Rays will be relying on Jalen Beeks and Trevor Richards for the night, and may be calling up Anthony Banda in short order as well. None have the same promise as McKay, the former fourth overall draft selection in 2017, but all should be serviceable against the tanking Red Sox.

As for McKay, after falling one inning short of exceeding rookie limits in 2019, it’s becoming unlikely he will do so in 2020 either.