Rays’ roster moves include Austin Meadows to the IL

Tampa Bay makes six transactions, including reinstating Joey Wendle.
It may be awhile before Rays fans see Austin Meadows (17) rounding third at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay put the outfielder on the 10-day IL with a thumb sprain Sunday morning. [ALLIE GOULDING  |   Times]
It may be awhile before Rays fans see Austin Meadows (17) rounding third at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay put the outfielder on the 10-day IL with a thumb sprain Sunday morning. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published April 21, 2019|Updated April 21, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — After two Rays got hurt Saturday night turning long hits into triples, outfielder Austin Meadows joked that maybe they need to shut it down at second or just hit home runs.

“Triples are fun, but they can also be dangerous,” Meadows said.

Tampa Bay put Meadows on the 10-day injured list Sunday morning because of a right thumb injury he suffered on a seventh inning triple against the Red Sox Saturday. First baseman Ji-Man Choi suffered left calf tightness after legging out a triple earlier in the 6-5 loss to Boston, and is day-to-day.

The Rays posted a single-game team record four triples in the game, but not without cost.

Meadows, who was named the American League player of the week on April 15, was hitting .351 with six homers and 19 RBI this season. Now his status remains uncertain after having an MRI on Saturday night. He said before Sunday’s game he will see a hand specialist.

“They saw some damage but they don’t know how bad it is,” Meadows said. "We’ll see where we’re at later today.

“I slid into third kind of awkwardly. I think I put my right hand down ... and the thumb kind of jammed into the base. It was just kind of a freak accident. It didn’t feel too good."

Guillermo Heredia will replace Austin in rightfield in the finale of the team’s three-game series against Boston.

The Rays did find some good news with infielder Joey Wendle coming off the IL after being placed on the list on April 1 with a hamstring injury. Wendle will play second and bat fifth today.

“I’m very happy,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Wendle’s return. “He brings so much to us, offensively, defensively - just the energy he provides. He’s a gamer.”

Still, Cash couldn’t hide his disappointment over Meadows’ thumb injury. He’s hoping the issue isn’t as serious as the 2018 thumb injury centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier suffered on a slide into second. Kiermaier had to get surgery and was sidelined for more than two months.

“It’s similar," Cash said. "We’ve had a couple of thumb injuries. The way it was described was Austin’s went straight back, whereas KK and somebody else’s kind of went off to the side.”

Despite the double injuries on the triples, don’t look for the Rays to lose their aggressive on the bases. Cash said there are too many positives that can come from reaching third.

“You can’t limit a guy from trying to get an extra 90 feet, especially in that game where you put yourself in scoring position at third base," Cash said. “You can run a contact play, the infield is in. There are so many good things that can happen when you’re at third base. It’s just kind of unfortunate.”

Of course, as Meadows joked, Cash would be fine if his players just hit homers instead of triples.

Snell update: Cash said Sunday defending Cy Young winner Blake Snell likely won’t play Wednesday against Kansas City, the first day he’s eligible to come off the IL, but he said both Snell and pitching coach Kyle Snyder spoke positively about a bullpen session Snell had Saturday.

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“Blake felt great,” Cash said. “His exact quote was it bothered him more walking than it does throwing off a mound, which is a good sign. So I think he’s slated to play catch in a couple more days, probably have another bullpen and then we’ll figure out where we’re going to put them back in.”

More roster moves: In other moves, Tampa Bay optioned Jake Faria back to AAA Durham after he made a one-game appearance Saturday, pitching two scoreless innings. It also placed pitcher Hunter Wood on the paternity list, and recalled pitcher Emilio Pagan and infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez from Durham. Cash said Velazquez will provide greater late-inning flexibility because of his defensive skills at every position other than catcher.

Game preview: The Rays will look to snap a three-game losing streak against Boston today. First pitch is 2:10 p.m.

Boston starts former Rays Cy Young winner David Price, its most consistent pitcher in the early season. Also, rookie Michael Chavis starts after getting a key double in his major league debut Saturday. Here’s the Red Sox lineup:

Benintendi lf

Betts rf

Moreland 1b

Martinez dh

Bogaerts ss

Devers 3b

Chavis 2b

Bradley cf

Vazquez c

Price p

Here is the lineup for the Rays, who will wear their Sunday Columbia-blue tops:

Diaz 1b

Pham lf

Robertson 3b

Garcia DH

Wendle 2B

Heredia rf

Kiermaier cf

Adames ss

Perez c

Glasnow p