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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
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.

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