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.
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.
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.
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.