ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Matt Andriese starts tonight against the Royals, taking the spot in the order vacated by Matt Moore's trade Monday to the Giants.
Manager Kevin Cash said before Monday's game that Andriese is back in the rotation on a full-time basis, but president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said Andriese won't be the only pitcher to get starts during the remaining two months of the season.
RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) is on schedule to return at the end of this month. Silverman said RHP Erasmo Ramirez will also receive some opportunities.
There might also be some of the young arms at Triple-A Durham, who could earn September callups, though Silverman said it's too early to talk about that.
"There are a lot of things we need to work through and plan out what the rotation is going to look like and deploy these pitchers," Silverman said. "They're all going to pitch and pitch extensive innings for us.
"We have to do everything we can this year to prepare for next year and be as good a club as we can."
Andriese was 5-1 in eight starts after being called up May 8 when the Rays needed a fifth starter full time. He was moved to the bullpen in June to make room for LHP Blake Snell.
"I think I had a good amount of starts early in the year where I showed to them and proved to them I belonged in the rotation," Andriese said. "I knew this was all going to hopefully work out in the long term."
MAHTOOK HEADING OUT: OF Mikie Mahtook (left hand fracture) is scheduled to begin his minor-league rehab assignment today with the GCL Rays then join Class A Charlotte on Wednesday. Mahtook, out since June 21, said he doesn't think he will need a long rehab stint. "I think my body is ready to go," he said. "It's just getting my timing (at the plate) and see as many pitches as I can." Also, RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today at Double-A Montgomery.
MOTTER, GARTON RETURN: Utility player Taylor Motter and RHP Ryan Garton will be recalled from Durham before tonight's game to replace INF Steve Pearce and LHP Matt Moore, who were traded Monday. The Rays played with only two players on the bench because of the late trades. Motter was the International League player of the week last week, going 7-for-17 with eight runs, two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs and six walks.
NOT-SO-MINOR MATTER: Though SS Matt Duffy was the marquee addition, acquiring INF Lucius Fox, C Jonah Heim, OF Nathan Lukes and RHPs Michael Santos and Jhonleider Salinas in three trades was a big deal, too, baseball operations president Matt Silverman said. "If you take a snapshot of our system today compared to yesterday, we're in much better shape. We have more athleticism, we have some young arms, we have another catcher to add to the mix. It's a good day for our minor-league system."
NOTEWORTHY: The 17 strikeouts were the most by the Rays in a nine-inning game since June 8, 2014 against the Mariners. … RHP Chris Archer is now 0-4 with a 5.63 ERA in five career starts against the Royals. … Saturday's Mystery Ball fundraiser, organized by the Rays wives and girlfriends, raised more than $33,000 for All Children's Hospital. … The Rays Baseball Foundation will donate $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium and $2,500 to the charity of SS Brad Miller's choice after Miller homered Sunday into the Touch Tank.