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Rays place Avisail Garcia on IL, call up Jose De Leon

Garcia felt tightness in his oblique Tuesday but was confident he wouldn’t go on the injured list. Team decides to play it safe and sit him.
Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Avisail Garcia (24) celebrates alone on the dugout after hitting a home run to left also scoring Eric Sogard (9) during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD | Times
Published Aug. 14
Updated Aug. 14

SAN DIEGO — The Rays decided to play it safe and placed outfielder Avisail Garcia on the 10-day injured list after he felt tightness in his oblique during Tuesday’s game.

Pitcher Jose De Leon was called up from Triple-A to add an extra arm to the bullpen.

Garcia was pinch hit for Tuesday after feeling something “funny” in his oblique during his fifth-inning at-bat, and said after the game he expected to miss only a couple days and would not need to go on the 10-day injured list.

But the Rays thought better of it and, without doing an MRI or seeing a specialist, opted to put him on the shelf.

“It was a tough decision,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s meant so much to us. And I’m confident we’re making the best decision for him and for our club. We cannot have Avi go down for a significant period of time. I’m optimistic that we got it early enough. ... Shut him down, probably no swinging for five days. And, look, keep our fingers crossed that it’s a minimum, close to minimum, stint.”

Garcia said he had “a little frustration" with the decision but understood.

“I think it was a smart move,” he said. “I don’t want to miss a month, or the rest of the season. So just going to take care of this right now. I’ve (had) this in the past. so I just got to take care of it and get better.”

Garcia is hitting .278 with 17 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .794 OPS, including 10 three-hit games.

The Rays plan to fill in for Garcia pretty much with the players they have, as there are no outfielders to be called up. So that means Tommy Pham (who is playing through a hand injury of his own), Kevin Kiermaier, Guillermo Heredia and Austin Meadows will get most of the outfield duty, with infielders Mike Brosseau and Eric Sogard also getting time on the grass. When Brandon Lowe (lefg) and Joey Wendle (wrist) return from the IL, Cash said they likely will get some outfield time also.

As for filling Garcia’s spot on the roster, lefty swinging Nate Lowe (who plays first base and DH) and righty hitting Daniel Robertson (who can play all infield spots) seem most likely.


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