Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays to activate Steve Pearce from DL, send down Nick Franklin

Versatile Steve Pearce, who has been out since June 20 with a strained right hamstring, is batting .322 with a .933 on-base plus slugging percentage this season and could be an attractive trade target.


Versatile Steve Pearce, who has been out since June 20 with a strained right hamstring, is batting .322 with a .933 on-base plus slugging percentage this season and could be an attractive trade target.

DENVER — The Rays are welcoming another key player back to active duty tonight, activating INF/DH Steve Pearce from the disabled list.

To make room, the Rays after Monday's game optioned INF Nick Franklin to Triple-A.

Pearce has been out since June 20 when he strained his right hamstring in Cleveland, and the Rays have missed him, as he was hitting .322 at the time with a .933 OPS.

Pearce played in two rehab games for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs, going 3-for-7, and joined the team in Denver on Monday. He provides a right-handed-hitting option to Logan Morrison at first base, can play second and third and can DH when the Rays get back to AL rules.

In addition to providing an immediate boost to the lineup, Pearce also might spark trade talks, as he is expected to be a popular subject of discussion among contenders leading to the Aug. 1 deadline for nonwaiver deals. Pearce is appealing since he is on a one-year, $4.75 million contract.

SNELL'S PACE: Rookie LHP Blake Snell is ready for two new experiences in tonight's start at Coors Field.

One is pitching without his typically key curveball, a nod to the impact of the altitude significantly reducing the break on the ball.

The other is batting in a game for the first time since 2011 when he was a high school senior.

Snell said he could tell after playing catch for a few minutes Monday afternoon that the curve wouldn't work as well, and he plans to make more use of his slider and changeup.

"My game plan definitely has changed from what it was," he said. "It had the same spin, but it's not dropping as I feel it should at all."

On the positive side, Snell said he is eager to make more use of the other off-speed pitches.

"I've definitely been working on the slider a lot," he said. "I'm happy with that and excited to throw it in a game and see what it does. The same with the changeup."

As for hitting, Snell isn't really sure what to expect — except for not having much expectation for success.

"I'm pretty excited for it but I'm kind of nervous at the same time," he said. "I haven't swung a bat in six years, so it's probably going to go right by me."

Snell has his own bat, but the Rays got it and he doesn't even know the specs. "I didn't order it, they just said, 'Here's a bat that says Blake Snell,' " he said. "I might sleep with it tonight."

REHAB REPORT: Manager Kevin Cash said before Monday's game that the Rays hadn't decided — "not quite yet" — if RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) would return to his rehab start program or throw another bullpen session, as he did Sunday. Cobb left a July 11 rehab start, his second, after one inning due to what he and the team said was fatigue. … RHP Brad Boxberger (oblique) made the first of several scheduled rehab appearances, allowing a two-out home run in a 13-pitch inning for the Stone Crabs. … RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) made a solid first rehab start for Charlotte, allowing one hit while striking out three in a 20-pitch inning.

GOING LONGO: 3B Evan Longoria became just the second American League third baseman to have at least eight 20-homer seasons, joining Graig Nettles, who had 10 with the Yankees and Indians. Longoria also joined Eddie Mathews and Scott Rolen as the only third basemen to hit 20 in at least eight of his first nine seasons.

MISCELLANY: First pitch was delayed 32 minutes following rain. … CF Kevin Kiermaier hit second, but Cash said that because SS Brad Miller was off and not a permanent change. … Triple-A Durham LHP Justin Marks, who threw a no-hitter Saturday, and C J.P. Arencibia, who hit .471, were named International League pitcher and player of the week. … Team president Brian Auld and senior VP Melanie Lenz, who handles stadium issues, are on the trip. … After playing 26 of 30 games against teams above .500, the Rays are playing seven vs. teams below.

Rays to activate Steve Pearce from DL, send down Nick Franklin 07/18/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 1:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.

  5. Urban Meyer says the Big Ten is now the equal of the SEC


    CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer doesn't just believe the Big Ten has closed the gap with the more heralded SEC. He is convinced the race is a dead heat already.

    Ohio State’s Urban Meyer says the Big Ten East is as strong as the SEC East was when he coached UF to two national titles.