After a four-day respite, the Tampa Bay Rays are slated to start a six game home stand tonight before they hit the road again. First up, a three-game series against cross state foes, the Miami Marlins. The Rays have won 14 of their last 15 home games, although they dropped two of three in Miami earlier this month.
Tampa Bay made a roster move prior to the game, selecting Adam Moore from Triple-A Durham to take the place of catcher Wilson Ramos, who was placed on the DL Wednesday (retroactive to Sunday, July 15). There is still no definitive timetable for Ramos.
The Rays could still add a more experienced backstop from the outside in the future, writes Neil Solondz (Rays Radio).
We’ve selected the contract of C Adam Moore from Triple-A @DurhamBulls. OF Johnny Field has been designated for assignment.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 20, 2018
To make room for Moore on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated OF Johnny Field for assignment. Rays manager Kevin Cash said he’d hope they can keep Johnny Field in the organization, but if he gets an opportunity elsewhere in majors that’s good too.
In another move, they also reinstated LHP Jose Alvarado from the family medical emergency list on Thursday with Andrew Kittredge optioned back to Durham.
LHP Jonny Venters also started a rehab stint on Thursday with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, which he spoke about with Solondz.
(Audio Credit: Rays Radio)
Venters is expected to make his second rehab appearance with the Stone Crabs on Saturday.
The New What Next
Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.59 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Dan Straily (3-4, 4.29 ERA).
Nathan Eovaldi allowed eight runs on nine hits in a loss to Minnesota last Friday. Eovaldi fanned just one and walked two over 2-2/3 innings of work. The right-hander has had an uneven campaign since coming off the DL at the end of May, putting together three scoreless starts in nine outings, but coughing up four runs or more in four others. Friday’s performance was his worst yet, which really doesn’t bode well for he or the team, especially since the Rays have noted they are open to dealing the soon to be free-agent at, or before, the trade deadline.
Dan Straily didn’t factor into the decision in the 5-4 extra-inning win over the Brewers on Wednesday. Straily allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven. The right-hander left the game after 101 pitches (67 strikes, 66% strike rate) and in line for the win, but Drew Steckenrider blew the lead in the eighth inning. Straily has now turned in four quality starts in a row, allowing him to lower his ERA to 4.29. This season Straily has relied primarily on his 91 mph four-seam fastball boasting some added backspin and an 84 mph slider, while also mixing in a whiffy 85 mph circle changeup that has some natural sink to it. He is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his career against the Rays. Key Matchups: CJ Cron (2-2, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Adeiny Hechavarria (1-4), Mallex Smith (1-2, RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 7/20/18 Starting Lineup
— 3B Matt Duffy was scratched from the lineup due to back spasms. Daniel Robertson will take over at third, shifting Mallex Smith into left-field, and Joey Wendle into second.