After an off-day, the Tampa Bay Rays are visiting the top team in the AL Central at Progressive Field on Friday, in Cleveland. Tampa Bay has gone 9-1 over their last 10 games, equaling the Rays’ season-high total of nine games over .500. They start the day eight games back in the AL Wildcard race.
This will be the first time the Rays face Cleveland this season. It will be the third consecutive series where Tampa Bay is playing a first-place team.
We’ve placed C Michael Perez on the 10-day DL (left hamstring strain) retro to Wednesday. C Adam Moore has been selected from Triple-A @DurhamBulls.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 31, 2018
The Rays made a roster move Friday afternoon, placing catcher Michael Perez the 10-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday, with a left hamstring strain. The injury occurred on Tuesday during a play at the plate against the Braves. Veteran backstop Adam Moore was selected from Triple-A Durham, which means the 40-man roster is now full.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) August 31, 2018
In other medical news, OF Mallex Smith will play in a rehab game tomorrow for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The original plan was for Smith to return during the upcoming homestand, although he can be reinstated from the DL as soon as Tuesday, in Toronto.
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow (1-3, 4.18 ERA) will get the start tonight, pitching opposite of Corey Kluber (16-7, 2.91 ERA).
Tyler Glasnow allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight across five innings two Thursday’s ago. He did not factor into the decision. Glasnow was limited to a relatively short outing due to lapses in control, although he generated an impressive 14 whiffs on 96 total pitches (58 strikes, 60% strike rate, 24% SwStr). Even though he has surrendered six walks across his last two starts, spanning 11-2/3 innings, Glasnow has allowed 3.5 BB/9 across 23-2/3 total innings as a Ray.
Corey Kluber allowed five uncharacteristic earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out six across 5-1/3 innings to take the loss to the Royals on Saturday. This was a surprisingly poor effort from Kluber, as he allowed a sub-par Royals offense to score in three separate innings. The perennial Cy Young Award contender has always been tough on Tampa Bay, performing to a 4-2 record and a 2.44 ERA in eight career starts. Beware of the slider! Key Matchups: CJ Cron (3-5, 2 2B, BB), Kevin Kiermaier (3-9, 2B, 3B, 3 BB), Jesus Sucre (1-3)
Rays 8/31/18 Starting Lineup
You can read about the series in our preview.
— Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio), five Rays players have been assigned to the Arizona Fall League in OF/1B Joe McCarthy, INF Lucius Fox, and pitchers Matt Krook, Phoenix Sanders and Curtis Taylor. Four affiliates already have made the post-season, and two still are in play going into the final weekend of the minor league season.
— Expect some taunting from Cleveland’s manager Terry Francona toward Rays skipper Kevin Cash. As Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) writes it,
Last year it was headlined, HOW BAD IS KEVIN CASH AT THE PLATE?, with a listing of his career stats, in prior years video “tributes” on the Progressive Field board.
Cash said he figures it will be “something stupid,” but says he’ll just take the well-intentioned abuse without retaliating.
“Whatever,” Cash said. “I’m not falling into his trap.”
Cash played for Francona when he managed the Red Sox, and worked for him with the Indians in 2013-14 as the bullpen coach.