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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.


  1. Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi watches pitchers in the bullpen during a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. [FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP]
  2. The Rays are hoping the rain holds off and they can play today in Port Charlotte. [MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka speaks during a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles. [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
  4. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) works in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday  in Sarasota. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
  5. The wildfire burned over 220 acres, but Charlotte County officials said no homes were lost. [Charlotte County Fire and EMS]
  6. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) pitches at the top of the first inning against Cleveland Indians on Sunday, Sept. 01, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.   [Times]
  7. Imagine what Tropicana Field would be like if fans showed up every day the way they did for Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Astros last October. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  8. Jose Altuve and other Astros stars hear it from fans in Lakeland, who aren't shy about reminding them of the sign-signing scandal. [FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP]
  9. Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (25), left, celebrates his solo home run with Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames (1) during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in Port Charlotte. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  10. Fans line up to enter Tropicana Field during Game 3 of the 2019 American League Division Series (ALDS) Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  11. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Trevor Richards, left, and John Curtiss in practice during spring training in Port Charlotte. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]