For starters: Rays at Indians, with Andrew Velazquez called up

Rays reliever Ryan Yarbrough pitches against the Orioles on July 26, 2018. (Associated Press)
Rays reliever Ryan Yarbrough pitches against the Orioles on July 26, 2018. (Associated Press)
Published September 2 2018
Updated September 2 2018

UPDATE, 3:59: To make room on the 40-man roster for Velasquez, the Rays put injured RHP Jose Mujica on the big-league roster and then on the 60-day DL.

UPDATE, 2:43: The Rays made a surprise move today, calling up INF/OF Andrew Velazquez from Triple-A Durham to provide depth at several positions. The move was made in part because CF Kevin Kiermaier remains sidelined – though feeling better – due to a sore back and Velazquez can play centerfield.

So why Velazquez over Austin Meadows, the prospect acquired from the Pirates who is tearing it up at Durham? Meadows hasn't played since Wednesday when he was hit on the left hand in the at-bat after his third homer of the game.

And why Velazquez over Kean Wong, who also plays infield and outfield and is having a great year? Because Velazquez is better and has more experience in center, can play short which Wong doesn't, is a faster runners which makes him a potential pinch-runner, and is a switch-hitter while Wong is a lefty, of which the Rays have plenty.

Also, Kiermaier said he feels better, is available off the bench and hopes to be  back in the lineup on Monday in Toronto though the turf is a concern; Mallex Smith is expected to be activated from the DL when eligible on Monday; Cash wasn't surprised to see Oakland also employ the opener/bullpen day strategy.

Here is the Indians lineup:
Lindor ss
Brantley lf
Ramirez 3b
Diaz dh
Alonso 1b
Cabarera rf
Kipnis 2b
Perez c
Allen cf
Carrasaco p

DEVELOPING: The Rays have a chance to take a series from another first place team when they take on the Indians at 4:10.

That's a later start than usual for a Sunday, as a result of a big air show on the Cleveland lakefront.

The Rays are planning to have RHP Diego Castillo as the opener, and then have LHP Ryan Yarbrough work the bulk of the innings. Yarbrough leads all major-league rookies with 12 wins.

The Indians are starting RHP Carlos Carrasco.

The Rays will be without CF Kevin Kiermaier, who left Saturday's game with back tightness. Also off today is 3B Matt Duffy.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Wendle 3b
Pham cf
Choi dh
Cron 1b
Lowe 2b
Adames ss
Bauers lf
Gomez rf
Moore c
Castillo p

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