The Rays start the day four behind the Minnesota Twins — who they’ll face next week — for the last playoff spot with 27 games left to play, and five behind the scuffling New York Yankees for the top Wildcard spot. The Angels and Orioles are ahead of Tampa Bay as well.
The rosters expanded today, and the Rays announced welcomed the addition of three players: Curt Casali — who gives Tampa Bay a third catcher, LHP Adam Kolarek, and RHP Ryne Stanek, giving Tampa Bay nine available relievers. More reinforcements are expected throughout the month.
The New What Next
Blake Snell (2-6, 4.29 ERA, 4.44 FIP) will get the start tonight for the Rays, pitching opposite of Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 6.97 ERA, 6.61 FIP).
Snell is coming off one of his best outings of the season, as he allowed just two runs on four hits over seven innings. He struck out seven. The southpaw has thrown six or more innings in four consecutive starts, and though his season numbers are still unsightly, Snell appears to have figured some things out in the second half, performing to a 3.66 ERA/3.69 FIP.
Lopez had been on the disabled list with a back strain since mid-August. Prior to the injury, Lopez made two starts but allowed eight runs on nine hits over 10-1/3 innings. The 23 year-old right-hander — who this season has relied upon a 95mph four-seam fastball with natural sinking action, and a whiffy 85mph changeup, while also mixing in an 81mph 12-6 curveball with little depth — has never faced the Rays.
Rays 8/1/17 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— Jonny Venters was promoted today from Double-A Montgomery to Triple-A Durham.
— MLB announced the discipline on former C Derek Norris, who has been suspended for the rest of the season for violating the leagues domestic violence policy. Norris hasn’t played since his DFA in early July. Norris forfeited the final $100-Thousand of his termination pay, which the Rays will donate to charities involved with domestic violence and abuse.