Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Jose Alvarado set to rejoin Rays, Tommy Pham still hurting

Rays Journal: The lefty reliever may meet the Rays in San Diego. Pham plans to play with a small fracture in his right hand.
Published Aug. 13
Updated Aug. 13

SAN DIEGO — Reliever Jose Alvarado is close to rejoining the Rays and outfielder Tommy Pham said he expects to be back in the lineup as soon as Tuesday despite ongoing soreness in his right hand that includes a small fracture.

Pham was not in the lineup for Monday’s 10-4 win over the Padres and lefty starter Joey Lucchesi.

He has been limited since spraining his right hand sliding into second base In Toronto July 28, and 5-for-30 since. Manager Kevin Cash said before Monday’s game the Rays were waiting for second opinions from several doctors they asked to review imaging of the injured area.

MORE RAYS: Players talk about Kevin Cash’s decision to pull Ryan Yarbrough

“He’s not feeling great,’’ Cash said. “It’s not ideal. We know he’s playing through some discomfort and some pain. It’s just a matter that we want to confirm that we’re doing the right thing by allowing him to continue to play so we’re waiting on that feedback.’’

But Pham said after the game he is taking medicine to address the swelling and can tolerate the pain to resume playing with no plans to end up on the injured list to get extended rest.

"I’m not going on the injured list; I’ll fight them on that,'' he said. "Granted there is something wrong with my hand, but I can play. These pills have to kick in. The swelling already went down a lot. So I’ll be all right, I’m playing.''

Pham didn’t have a lot of specifics to offer but said the injury is more than a sprain.

"I’ve got some problems,'' he said. "There’s a small fracture, but it’s small enough where I can play. And I’ve got some swelling.''

Alvarado has made five rehab appearances since recovering from an early July oblique strain that sidelined four games after his return from a two-month personal leave, and it sounds like he could be headed to San Diego.

“We’re talking through a lot of stuff with him,’’ Cash said. “We’re really close to seeing him. (Pitching coach Kyle Snyder) was really encouraged after talking to (Triple-A pitching coach Rick Knapp) about the shape and play of the fastball. So he’s close.’’

The roster spot to add Alvarado could be created by placing Pham on the injured list, though that would leave the Rays down a position player.

Blake Snell catching on

Blake Snell played catch Monday for the first time since July 29 arthroscopic surgery to remove six bone chips from his elbow, making about 25 tosses at distances of 45 and 60 feet. “It felt good,’’ Snell said. “Once the inflammation goes down I think it will be a lot better. But felt good, no problems. … Happy with it.’’ Snell will be on a three days a week schedule and continue to build up his arm with the goal of returning to the mound for the Rays sometime in September. “For sure,’’ he said. “But at the same time I’ve never had this injury so I don’t really know. For me to start playing catch now to say September I feel very positive about it.’’

Blake Snell posted a photo of Instagram of his meeting with childhood idol Ken Griffey Jr. [Instagram]

Snell’s ‘Junior’ moment

Snell, who grew up in Seattle and named his dog Junior, got to realize a lifelong dream on Saturday when he got to meet and talk with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.. who was in town for the Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame events. “He was coming off the field and (Rays first base coach Ozzie Timmons, a former Mariner) was like, “Griffey!’ Then Griffey came over and then he said “Whassup?” and he knew who I was and I said, “I know who you are,’ ‘’ Snell recounted Monday. “I didn’t really say much. I was kind of nervous. I don’t know why. ... I don’t really know what I said.’’ Snell did get a Griffey Mariners jersey signed.

MORE RAYS: Cash won the game, but did he lose something move valuable?

Miscellany

* Rookie lefty Brendan McKay is looking forward to Tuesday’s start as he will get the chance to pitch and hit in the same game for the first time since college at Louisville. “It’s going to be exciting, I haven’t done it since 2017,’’ he said. “To be able to get out there and be able to contribute with the bat will be exciting.’’

* Monday was the Rays first game at Petco Park since 2004, their only other visit to San Diego.

* Sunday’s game was the Rays seventh shutout of the season, first since June 5 at Detroit. It also was the 34th time in franchise history they won 1-0 , 12th with the run on a home run.

* After having Diego Castillo work the first inning as the opener, the Rays used an unexpected pinch-hitter, with pitcher Jalen Beeks batting for him in the top of the second with two outs and no one on. Beeks, a lefty hitter facing Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi, went down looking.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer warms up during batting practice for baseball's World Series Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Houston. The Houston Astros face the Washington Nationals in Game 1 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP
    Predictions from Marc Topkin, Martin Fennelly and John Romano.
  2. Karsyn Waechter, Riley Vigue and Avery Vigue are extending the athletic legacies of their fathers. Alissa Vigue, Special to the Times
    Doug Waechter and former Rays minor-leaguer are passing their love of the game on to their daughters and their teammates
  3. Between the potential of historic pitching matchups, the emergence of Juan Soto and the heroics of Jose Altuve, this Washington-Houston World Series has more going for it than the Vegas odds might suggest. MATT SLOCUM | AP Photo MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    The Astros are the heaviest favorites the World Series has seen since 2007. Still, there is reason to believe his Fall Classic has memorable moments ahead.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. The Saints won 31-24. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) BUTCH DILL  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: What’s next for the Bucs, Astros-National World Series preview, the Lightning’s short-circuit start
  5. Davey Martinez gained valuable experience as a coach behind Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay. But when Maddon exited, the Rays bypassed him for a "new voice," Kevin Cash. Tampa Bay Times
    After failing to land a half-dozen manager jobs, including with the Rays, Martinez and Nats ended up a good match.
  6. Jose Altuve prepares to be mobbed by his teammates at home plate as Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman leaves the field after giving up a walkoff two-run homer to the Astros second baseman in the ninth inning to win Game 6 of the AL Championship Series 6-4 on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The Astros win the series 4-2 and advance to the World Series to play the Washington Nationals. MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    New York ties the ALCS Game 6 in the top of the ninth with a two-run HR before the diminutive second baseman wins it with a blast off Aroldis Chapman, putting Houston in the World Series.
  7. In 1968, slugger Frank Howard, known as the "Washington Monument," proved to be one of the few bright spots for the Washington Senators. AP
    The Nationals’ improbable postseason run rekindles memories of the woeful Washington Senators
  8. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Research now, action to come as Rays get caught up after playoff run. Plus, TV rating info and rumblings.
  9. The Astros’ George Springer signals foul, but the delirious crowd in the rightfield stands at Yankee Stadium knows better as the ball hit by Aaron Hicks caroms off the foul pole for a three-run homer in the first inning of Game 5 of the AL Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, New York slugs two home runs in the bottom half of the inning and cuts the series lead to 3-2. Game 6 is tonight in Houston.
  10. An emotional CC Sabathia is helped off the field during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series against the Astros on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 39-year-old left-hander injures his pitching shoulder and is taken off the Yankees' postseason roster, thus ending his 19-year major-league career. MATT SLOCUM  |  AP
    The 39-year-old left-hander is taken off New York’s playoff roster, thus ending his 19-year big-league career.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement