Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Pham on 10-day DL, Snell back on the mound

ST. PETERSBURG — Newly acquired OF Tommy Pham wouldn't mind a do-over to his first few days as a Ray.

In his first game since being traded by the Cardinals on Tuesday, Pham got hit in the ribs by a pitch. On Thursday, he got hit again, this time in the right foot, which proved to be far more serious than first thought.

After waking up with pain, Pham had another MRI exam Friday on his foot, which revealed a hairline fracture. He was put on the 10-day disabled list, expected to miss between 2-4 weeks. LHP Adam Kolarek was called up from Triple-A Durham to fill his roster spot.

"Not the start that I imagined,'' said Pham, who has a walking boot on his right leg. "I thought it would just be a bruise, but it's more than that. I kind of felt something when I was running.''

Manager Kevin Cash didn't believe the injury was serious when Pham was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning Thursday against the Angels. Pham stayed in the game and scored on a wild pitch, but he eventually left in the seventh. An MRI exam taken during the game wasn't exactly accurate.

"Originally, I think we X-rayed the wrong toe,'' Cash said. "It looked clear in the X-ray he took during the game, but then it got sore overnight.

"In the next MRI we saw that it was the next toe over.

"From what we're being told, this is probably the best worst-case scenario. It's a hairline fracture. It's not displaced. We'll just try to keep him off his feet for a few days and see how quickly he can recover.''

Pham's injury could accelerate plans to promote OF Austin Meadows, acquired from the Pirates in the Chris Archer deal and assigned to Triple A. The Rays acquired Pham for three prospects: OF Justin Williams, LHP Genesis Cabrera and RHP Roel Ramirez.

Snell returns

LHP Blake Snell takes the mound Saturday night for the first time since pitching 1⅔ innings of relief in the All-Star Game on July 17. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list July 23 for left-shoulder fatigue. It's the first start for Snell since July 12 at Minnesota, when he lasted just three innings and gave up three runs.

Snell had two bullpen sessions in preparation for his return and said he felt fine. But he will be on a bit of a short leash.

"He'll be on a pitch count, although I'm not sure what it is right now,'' Cash said. "He's got two side sessions in, but he's not going to throw 100 pitches.''

Snell is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in three road starts against the White Sox this season. He has been especially tough at the Trop all season, allowing one run or fewer in 11 straight home starts. He said he hopes to pick up where he left off.

"I expect to have some efficiency,'' Snell said. "I want to be in the zone. My arm feels good, so that shouldn't be an excuse. I'm just excited to get to play.''

Quote of the day

"It's unfortunate, but we've had plenty of unfortunate things go on this year.''
— Cash, on the loss of Pham for up to a month with a fractured foot

Lots of relief

The Rays bullpen is the hardest-working staff in the majors, and it isn't even close. Rays relievers have racked up 519 innings of work going into Friday's game against the White Sox. That's 90⅔ innings more than the next closest team in baseball, the Padres. And it's 110⅓ innings more than the next closest AL team, the Angels. The Rays have used an "opener" 27 times. RHP Ryne Stanek played that role Friday, the 17th time he has been used as an opener. He couldn't have done any better. He struck out all five batters he faced and was pulled with two outs in the second after throwing 23 pitches.

Miscellany

• SS Adeiny Hechavarria, designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers Friday. That means the Rays can trade him to any team and negotiate on his remaining salary of around $1.9 million.

• OF Jesus Sanchez was promoted from Class A Charlotte to Double-A Montgomery. In 90 games with the Stone Crabs, Sanchez hit .301 with 64 RBIs and 10 home runs.

• The Rays named INF Wander Franco and LH Brock Burke their minor league player and pitcher of the month for July. Franco hit .361 with five doubles, four triples, five HRs and 25 RBIs in 24 games for rookie league Princeton. Burke went 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts between Class A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.

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