ST. PETERSBURG — Is RHP Erasmo Ramirez pitching today to keep his spot in the Rays rotation?
Ramirez has not pitched well his past three starts, with an ugly stat line to show for it: 0-2, 9.20 with 31 baserunners (26 hits, four walks, one HBP) in 142/3 innings. And LHP Blake Snell, whose May 14 demotion returned Ramirez to the rotation, is among the potential replacements doing well at Triple-A Durham, 4-0, 2.84 in six starts.
"I don't think we're there yet," manager Kevin Cash said. "But I do agree that Erasmo, I think he gets caught in between at times of what he's trying to accomplish when he's out on the mound. Sometimes he gets a little bit too fine.
"When we've seen Erasmo at his best, he's been in attack mode, controlling the count and getting ahead of hitters. When you see him do that, generally he's going to have success."
Naturally, Cash said the Rays would like to see more of that and less nibbling around the plate.
Ramirez said he knows he needs to be more aggressive and, if anything, the issue is more mental. "Believe in my pitches, trust my stuff, and if I want to go in, go in. You hit it, okay, it's okay," he said. "It's just about executing pitches. That's been maybe the big deal (between) the good and bad outings."
Beckham back Friday?
SS Tim Beckham was not in the lineup due to a left hand that Cash said was "pretty sore" after being hit by a pitch Monday, but they are hoping to have him back Friday. Cash said he would see if Beckham was available for emergency duty but would prefer to keep him out so he has the benefit of Thursday's off day. "Hopefully we can avoid using him," Cash said. "He's pretty sore but I think he's going to be okay."
C Wilson Ramos (right knee) came through his first nine-inning duty Monday well with Triple-A Durham and went 1-for-4 with a double as the DH on Tuesday, with plans to catch back-to-back games Thursday and Friday and join the Rays Sunday. … RHP Brad Boxberger (flexor) makes what is slated to be his last outing with Durham tonight then rejoin the Rays on Friday. "Our bullpen needs help and he can fill a huge void for us," Cash said. … There was "no real update," Cash said, on SS Matt Duffy, who on Tuesday went back to see Dr. Bob Anderson, who did the September surgery on the left heel that has remained problematic. … RHP Diego Moreno (right shoulder) said he is shut down from any throwing for at least a few more days due to recurring discomfort that prevented him from making a planned rehab outing last week. … 2B Brad Miller (groin strain) "is still kind of in a shutdown mode," Cash said.
After signing fourth-round RHP Drew Strotman and fifth-round LHP Josh Fleming on Tuesday night, the Rays have signed 25 of their 41 picks from last week's draft, with first-round 1B/LHP Brendan McKay (Louisville, left), competitive balance RHP Drew Rasmussen (Oregon State) and third-round SS Taylor Walls (FSU) participating in the College World Series. … The overslot deal for second-round RHP Michael Mercado, the No. 40 overall pick, turned out to be for $2,134,900, which is the value of Rasmussen's pick. … Other Tuesday signees include: ninth-round LHP Andrew Gist, 12 OF Carl Chester, 13 C Erik Ostberg, 14 1B Vincent Byrd, 15 OF Bryce Brown, 17 RHP Chris Muller, 19 RHP Tyler Day, 23 RHP Zack Mozingo, 24 C Jordyn Muffley, 25 C Andrew Miller, 27th LHP Blake Pflughaupt, 28 SS Justin Bridgman, 32 3B Seaver Whalen, 33 LHP Ivan Pelaez, 34 2B Trey Hair, 35 RHP Garrett Anderson, 40 3B Allen Smoot.
Number of the day
38 Feet, maximum height of Jesus Sucre's home run in the fourth; only five over-the fence homers since 2015 have been that low, per Statcast
. Corey Dickerson remained in third place among DHs in the American League All-Star voting but closed the gap. Seattle's Nelson Cruz has 1,118,873 votes, New York's Matt Holliday 927,247, Dickerson 926,163. 1B Logan Morrison, who went into play second in the AL with 21 homers, was not in the top five. MLB.com online voting end June 29.
. RHP Brent Honeywell left his already rough Monday Durham start (22/3 innings, eight hits, six runs) with a small blister but is expected to make his next start.
. Morrison got his first DH day since April 23 as newly acquired Trevor Plouffe started at first.
Times staff writer Ryan Romano contributed to this report.