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Rays reliever Jose Alvarado’s return to active roster doesn’t appear imminent

Alvarado will need a “restart” similar to an abbreviated spring training
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jose Alvarado, left, and catcher Erik Kratz celebrate after an 11 inning, 2-1 victory against the New York Yankees in a baseball game, Saturday, May 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jim McIsaac)
Published Jun. 17
Updated Jun. 18

NEW YORK — Rays reliever Jose Alvarado’s return to the active 25-man roster doesn’t appear imminent, with manager Kevin Cash saying on Monday that Alvarado will need a restart similar to an abbreviated spring training before he’s ready to rejoin the club.

“I hope it doesn’t take that long,” Cash said before the Rays opened a three-game series at Yankee Stadium with a 3-0 loss. “But we’re going to make sure we do everything and be responsible. We want him back right now, but we want him to come back and be the guy that he is for us, and we can’t rush that.”

Alvarado, the team’s saves leader with six, hasn’t pitched in more than two weeks, his last game outing coming on June 1. He went on the bereavement list the following day to attend to a personal issue in his native Venezuela and a week later was placed on the restricted list.

He returned to the states this weekend and reported to Port Charlotte to resume throwing. Cash said Alvarado is in a “pretty good spot,” but couldn’t place a definitive timetable on his return.

He did say that Alvarado will have to show he can pitch on consecutive days, so he will likely have to get some minor-league games under his belt before he is activated. But that would only come after bullpen sessions and live BP.

"Throwing strikes, commanding the baseball," Cash said when asked what Alvarado will need to accomplish, "and how he's bouncing back from his outings, from the bullpen sessions, from live BP, whatever it is, it's how he bounces back, because we don't have any relievers that aren't capable of throwing on two consecutive days."

Glasnow throwing bullpen Tuesday

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow is slated to throw his first bullpen session since landing on the injured list before Tuesday’s game, a significant step in his recovery from a forearm strain.

Glasnow threw off a mound for the first time on Saturday, throwing entirely fastballs.

"Everybody is kind of thumbs up at this point," Cash said of Glasnow. "The ball is coming out of his hand effortlessly and pain free. That's a good sign."

Cash said it is important for Glasnow to remain with the team while he’s building up from the injury so he can work with pitching coach Kyle Snyder and bullpen coach Stan Boroski. The Rays played their first of 10 straight road games in 11 days on Monday at Yankee Stadium.

"He's done such a good job of working with Kyle and every bit of information that we can find through this buildup process, I think it makes most sense to have Kyle and Stan's eyes on it and for everyone to communicate on it as it's going," Cash said. "You watch Tyler throw bullpens and there's a lot of conversation that goes on between pitches. Don't want to take that away from him as he's building back up to join our club."

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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