UPDATE, 5:51: The loss of Blake Snell into September was the primary topic of manager Kevin Cash’s pregame media session, which he termed "pretty disappointing.'' With the trade deadline looming, Cash downplayed the potential of adding a starter from the outside. “I don’t foresee us going out and finding a starter,'' Cash said. "You’re not going to find a starter that’s gonna replace Blake Snell. We certainly have the depth + are equipped to handle a big workload. It’s going to take these guys getting on a good run to do that though.'' ... Cash also said they would "have to find ways to continue to be creative,'' using some guys at Triple-A, lengthening out Beeks and Yarbrough. ... Cash did have some positive injury updates: Kiermaier (thumb) swung bat today and should “be really close” to being ready when eligible July 31; B. Lowe (right leg bruise) had good day and told people at Trop “felt better today” than any day prior, significantly better but there is no timetable yet however; Stanek (hip) will throw a bullpen next day or two; Alvarado (oblique) is getting close to throwing off mound. ... Robertson (knee surgery) is shifting rehab from Class A Stone Crabs to Triple-A Durham.
DEVELOPING: After Thursday’s news that top lefty starter Blake Snell will be sidelined into September due to arthroscopic elbow surgery, the Rays start the process of playing the next six or so weeks without him.
Tonight, with usual opener Ryne Stanek also injured, the Rays will start the game with Diego Castillo, the hard-throwing reliever who has been having control problems. Castillo is slated to work one or two innings, with lefty Ryan Yarbrough expected to handle the bulk of the innings. Castilo served as the opener 11 times last year going 0-0, 2.65
The Rays plans for Saturday, which was to be Snell’s next start, are unclear, though Jalen Beeks seems likely to handle the bulk of the innings.
Though the Rays called up lefty hitting catcher Michael Perez, they are starting right-handed Travis d’Arnaud, who has been their hottest hitter, behind the plate vs. Jays RH Jacob Waguespack.
Here is the Rays lineup, with both Ji-Man Choi and Nate Lowe:
N. Lowe dh
And here is the Jays lineup: