Kevin Kiermaier back with Rays
UPDATE, 4;33: Kiermaier said he was determined to return tonight which was why he stuck around for some extra at-bats in the DH last night in Port Charlotte. His excitement was obvious in the clubhouse pre-game, as he said, "It feels like another opening day to me.''
DEVELOPING: The Rays got a big boost before they even took the field Friday with news that CF Kevin Kiermaier was activated off the DL and back in the lineup.
Kiermaier has been sidelined since breaking his left hand attempting a catch May 21 in Detroit, and the Rays have missed him.
Kiermaier played both games of a doubleheader on Thursday for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs to get ready for his return.
Manager Kevin Cash said Thursday that Kiermaier's return will help them address the problems with their defense.
"We're going to fix it real soon when Kevin Kiermaier gets back because when he's back he's going to clear up a lot of things,'' Cash said. "He makes everybody around him a little bit better because of the ground he can cover and we can shade different sides in the outfield.''
The Rays have to make room on the roster for Kiermaier, with a relief pitcher expected to be sent down.