1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays get back to work: Diego Castillo, Ji-Man Choi set to return

Brandon Lowe not likely to play again until next week; Yonny Chirinos set to start on Friday vs. Orioles.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dug out as the Rays workout for the first time since the All-Star break at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, on Thursday, July 11, 2019. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dug out as the Rays workout for the first time since the All-Star break at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, on Thursday, July 11, 2019. DIRK SHADD | Times
Published Jul. 11, 2019
Updated Jul. 11, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays resume post All-Star break play Friday in Baltimore, and will have reliever Diego Castillo back in their bullpen.

Castillo has been out since June 22 with shoulder inflammation, and said he feels better physically and mentally.

Related: MORE RAYS: What they were saying about the Montreal plan at the All-Star Game

The Rays will need him, as reliever Jose Alvarado is going on the injured list for what is expected to be a 6-8 week stay due to an oblique strain.

Emilio Pagan and Castillo are likely to handle the bulk of late-inning work, though manager Kevin Cash said he could use five or six different pitchers in that role.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi is also set to return from the injured list on Saturday or Sunday, having been out 10 days with a left ankle strain. He is eligible on Saturday.

All-Star second baseman Brandon Lowe (right leg bruise) is not likely to rejoin the Rays until sometime next week. Though he said in Cleveland he was aiming to be ready when eligible Saturday, Cash said that was unlikely.

Pitcher Blake Snell was on hand Thursday for as the Rays workout at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay opens a four-game series Friday in Baltimore. DIRK SHADD | Times

At least 17 players were at the Trop for a voluntary workout Thursday before the team flight to Baltimore.

Also of note, third baseman Matt Duffy moved his rehab to Triple-A Durham, and will play there the next three days and be re-evaluated. He has been out all season with a hamstring issue that surfaced in spring training.

Related: LISTEN: Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast on why we can't have nice things here

The Rays will have Yonny Chirinos on the mound for Friday’s game. They have a doubleheader Saturday, with rookie Brendan McKay expected to be called up as the 26th man to start the opener and All-Star Charlie Morton pitching the night game.

Plans for Sunday were not announced, but the Rays are likely to use an opener and bring back either Jalen Beeks or Ryan Yarbrough to work bulk innings.


  1. Diego Castillo (63) kicks a ball around during spring training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte last February. [TAILYR IRVINE  | TIMES  ]
    Games will be available on TV and streamed; 21 of the exhibitions will be carried on radio.
  2. Derek Jeter speaks during the Baseball Hall of Fame news conference on Wednesday Jan. 22, 2020, a day after joining Larry Walker as members of the 2020 Hall of Fame class. [BEBETO MATTHEWS  |  AP]
    The New York Yankees great and the Baseball Hall of Fame say they are both OK not knowing who the lone voter is that kept Jeter from being a unanimous selection.
  3. Commissioner Rob Manfred says it will be used during the Class A Florida State League season.
  4. Baseball America released its annual list on Wednesday. [Baseball America]
    Wander Franco is No. 1 again, and Brendan McKay No. 14 as Rays lead the way.
  5. Out of 397 ballots cast, only one did not elect Derek Jeter to the Hall of Fame. [DAVID SANTIAGO  |  TNS via ZUMA Wire]
    A unanimous selection was the only remaining question and Jeter falls one vote short.
  6. In this file photo, American League All-Star Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees acknowledges the crowd before his first at bat during the 85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
    John Romano | A clear majority of readers reacted harshly to my suggestion that Derek Jeter, while being an all-time great shortstop, might be a little overrated.
  7. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter laughs with teammates during Monday's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times] [Tampa Bay Times]
    Derek Jeter and Scott Rolen joined the list, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still there, Curt Schilling still isn’t
  8. He is a Yankee icon. One of baseball's greatest ambassadors. And soon, he will be a Hall of Famer. But did Jeter's reputation exceed his actual value on the field? [GENE J. PUSKAR  |  Associated Press]
    John Romano | The Yankees shortstop might join former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Fame selections, but his defensive abilities left a lot to be desired.
  9. Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque while being honored before a game in Chicago on Aug.  30, 2014. [MATT MARTON  |  AP]
    "There was a toggle switch in the manager’s office and a camera zoomed in on the catcher,” Jack McDowell says of the setup he claims was installed by the Hall of Fame manager.
  10. In this 2007 file photo, Alyssa Nakken making the all-metro softball team at Woodland High School in Sacramento, Calif. [RENEE T. BONNAFON  |]
    Alyssa Nakken, 29, a former standout softball player at Sacramento State, will be in uniform for the big-league team, though not in the dugout during games.