Rays get back to work today with workout at Trop
The All-Star break is just about over as the Rays - or at least some of them - get back to work today with an 3 p.m. optional workout at the Trop in advance of Friday's game against the Orioles.
Having lost 22 of their last 25 going into the break, the Rays are hoping the respite leads to a fresh start as they are in last place with a 34-54 record.
At least once change has been made to the roster, as C Hank Conger was optioned to Triple-A on Monday. His replacement likely will be named today and is expected to be Luke Maile, who has been playing at Durham. Veteran J.P. Arencibia is the other leading option.
Among other issues that may get clarified today:
* CF Kevin Kiermaier was rained out of his rehab game on Wednesday in Port Charlotte, which could delay his return to the lineup. Kiermaier, out since breaking his left hand May 21, was planning to rejoin the Rays on Friday after playing two games for the Stone Crabs. He is slated to play Thursday; the Rays will have to decide whether one game will be enough or if they want to wait until Saturday to activate him.
* The Rays, as expected, are one of the teams that has expressed interest in signing RHP Kevin Jepsen, who was released last week by the Twins. A decision is reportedly coming soon.
* The Rays should have a better idea on the timetable for INF/DH Steve Pearce, who has been out since June with a hamstring strain, to return to action. He was to step up his activity over the break.
* Trade rumors continue to swirl involving Rays pitchers LHP Matt Moore and RHP Jake Odorizzi.
RHP Chris Archer will be on the mound when the Rays host the Orioles on Friday, with Moore pitching Saturday and Odorizzi on Sunday.
The Rays then embark on a 10-day, nine-game, three-city, cross-country road trip, facing the Rockies, A's and Dodgers before returning home for a July 29-31 series against the Yankees leading to the Aug. 1 trade deadline.