The Rays will raise the 2020 pennant today, and with the homestand comes a flurry of roster moves.
First up is the loss of Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks to a rotator cuff strain. This injury was somewhat anticipated by eagle eyed fans after Fairbanks seemed to shake his arm following this pitch in Miami (h/t Ian Malinowski):
Fairbanks made another relief appearance after that, but woke up Wednesday knowing something was wrong.
The #Rays Pete Fairbanks says he felt it the day after pitching in Boston.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) April 9, 2021
He has not had a shoulder injury before, but after getting examined doesn't think it's severe.
In his place, the Rays have promoted former reliever Hunter Strickland, formerly a star in the Giants bullpen from 2015-2017. He’s bounced around between the Mariners, Nationals, and Mets organizations over the last two seasons and with Fairbanks being injured gets his chance with the Rays.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Strickland, the Rays have designated catcher Joseph Odom — a surprise but necessary addition from the taxi squad following the departure of Ryan Sherriff.
This move was anticipated, and should he not pass through waivers, the Rays have already claimed a catcher off waivers to backfill Odom on the depth chart in Deivy Grullón.
The current state of the Rays bullpen is as follows for the Yankees series.
- RHP Diego Castillo
- RHP Ryan Thompson
- LHP Cody Reed
- RHP Andrew Kittredge
- RHP Hunter Strickland
- LHP Jeffrey Springs
- RHP Collin McHugh
- RHP Chris Mazza
- RHP Michael Wacha*
*Wacha has not been announced for Sunday’s start, which coincides with Tyler Glasnow on standard rest thanks to yesterday’s off day. Accordingly, Glasnow could get the nod on Sunday if the Rays choose to have Wacha piggyback Chris Archer on Saturday, although pitching plans will be flexible. A solid pitching performance from Hill and Archer could mean the Rays do not need Wacha and he can start Game 3 of the series.
Meanwhile, the Rays have activated postseason star OF Brett Phillips for the home stand, a helpful addition with Kevin Kiermaier still on the injured list with a quad injury, following a healthy showing from him at the Alternate Site following a Spring Training injury.
Accordingly, here’s what we can expect the position side to look like for the Rays offense:
- C Mike Zunino (R)
- C Francisco Mejia (S)
- 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo (L)
- 2B Brandon Lowe (L)
- SS Willy Adames (R)
- 3B Joey Wendle (L)
- 1B/3B Yandy Diaz (R)
- UTIL Mike Brosseau (R)
- 1B/3B Kevin Padlo (R)
- LF/RF Austin Meadows (L)
- LF/RF Randy Arozarena (R)
- CF/RF Manuel Margot (R)
- CF Brett Phillips (R)
Given these position players, what line up are you hoping to see against the Yankees?