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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
Published Jul. 11
Updated Jul. 11

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.

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.

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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. Brendan McKay, shown here in July at the Trop as the Rays' DH against the Orioles, comes through with his first major-league hit on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, against the Angels. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    After winning his June debut on the mound, the rookie gets his first hit Sunday. Also, Pagan as the savior, Meadows keeps streaking.
  2. The Angels' Andrelton Simmons beats the throw to Rays catcher Mike Zunino to score on a double by Albert Pujols during the first inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    On the merits of resiliency, Yarbrough’s career-high workload, Pham’s adventurous albeit not costly trip around the bases.
  3. Rays shortstop Willy Adames battles a ground ball up the middle but can't come up with the single hit by the Angels' Kevan Smith during the third inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    Angels 6, Rays 4: A rough outing by Ryan Yarbrough puts Tampa Bay down early, and a late rally wasn’t enough.
  4. The Rays wrap up their series with the Angels today at picturesque Angel Stadium in Anaheim. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tommy Pham is hitting leadoff as the Rays go with six righty hitters vs. Angels lefty Sandoval.
  5. From left, Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle, Austin Meadows and Ji-Man Choi meet at home plate after all three were driven in by a bases-loaded double from Travis d'Arnaud during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Rays 3, Angels 1: Glasnow’s solid start, and six strong innings from the bullpen are enough as Rays open lead over Indians.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jalen Beeks, left, and Johnny Davis congratulate each other after the Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 11-4 in a baseball game Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) MARK J. TERRILL  |  AP
    He shows off that elite speed Friday with a triple for his first hit, then some pent-up emotion afterward.
  7. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single from Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Daniel Robertson (28) at the bottom of the eighth inning against Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, Sept. 07, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.   ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Tyler Glasnow will be on the mound for his second outing since an extended injured list stint.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays' Austin Meadows, right, is greeted in the dugout after a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. RICHARD W. RODRIGUEZ  |  AP
    Fred McGriff should be at the top, but there is an interesting list that Austin Meadows is already making a case to join.
  9. For several weeks, Rays manager Kevin Cash has had to look over his shoulder to see whether the Indians or Athletics have been gaining in the American League wild card race. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Rays, Indians and A’s are all projected to win 94 or more games. In the past quarter-century, only one team has won that much and failed to make the playoffs.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays' Austin Meadows, right, gets a hug from Willy Adames after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) MARK J. TERRILL  |  AP
    Four Rays hit homers, headlined by Austin Meadows’ 30th, as Charlie Morton earns his 15th win.