BALTIMORE — Joey Wendle is headed back to the Rays, still-sore wrist and all.
With Jose Alvarado being placed on the injury list after feeling pain in his elbow during Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Orioles, the Rays passed on adding another pitcher and will instead activate Wendle, who has been on rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham.
That they face right-handed starters in at least their next four games, including Houston’s terrific trio of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, was a definite factor in turning to the lefty-swinging Wendle.
Wendle returned to rehab action Friday after two days off to rest his right wrist. Manager Kevin Cash said it went well, despite his 0-for-3 with a walk boxscore line, but suggested that Wendle’s availability may be limited when he does return.
“We’ve tried to really mange the workload with him,’’ Cash said. “We’re hoping to get him back here soon. He was such a big part of last year for us. This year has been unfortunate simply with the injuries (a hamstring strain, a broken wrist and now additional soreness). Joey can still impact us is many positive ways, whether he’s on the bases, defensively and certainly with the bat. We’ve just got to make sure the wrist has enough time in between that it’s able to recover and he can impact the baseball like he’s capable of.’’
Tyler Glasnow (forearm strain) was said to throw well and feel “fantastic” after a third bullpen session at the Trop and is tentatively slated for a live batting practice Tuesday and the first game of a short rehab assignment Friday, with the potential to be activated during the next homestand, which begins Friday, working in a one- or two-inning role initially. … Lefty Blake Snell (left elbow surgery) is playing catch off a 6-inch-high mound and slated to advance to his first bullpen session this week. … Righty Yonny Chirinos (middle finger inflammation) is also playing catch and said to be feeling good.
Avisail Garcia returns
The Rays were quite excited to have Avisail Garcia back in their lineup.
They were even more excited that it happened only 11 days after he was placed on the injured list with the beginnings of an oblique strain that apparently was caught in time.
“It’s huge,’’ Cash said. “We missed his presence in the lineup. He got hurt in San Diego right about the time our bats kind of went quiet at the homestand.
“It’s not all on him. But certainly a veteran guy that has a lot of good numbers here in this ballpark and has hit well against the Orioles, we’ll insert him right back in there. He’s having a good year. Let’s see if we can get him to pick up right where he left off.’’
Garcia went into play Saturday hitting .278 with 17 homers, 57 RBIs and a .794 OPS. He had homered in four of his past 11 games before the injury. He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout Saturday.
The Rays went 5-4 in the games he missed and scored 34 runs, with 14 coming in two games.
To make room for Garcia on the active roster, the Rays sent down outfielder Guillermo Heredia, who hadn’t been doing much at the plate (.148 in his past 11 games, .225 overall with a .662 OPS), but had played some terrific defense.
It’s not an “I’m crabby” T-shirt, but …
Aaron Slegers was optioned back to Triple A after working the final three innings against the Orioles on Friday in his first appearance in the majors this year, and he took a souvenir from his trip to Baltimore with him: the ball from his first big-league save. And the 6-foot-10 right-hander wasn’t taking any chances; he put the keepsake atop his locker. “I’ve got the ball in my glove, and I’m not letting anyone take that,’’ he said. “I put it way up high where only I can reach.’’
Number of the day
Times pitcher Austin Pruitt has been called up this season by the Rays, believed to be the most for a player in one season in team history
• You could tell the Rays were ready for some football, with Gators product and huge fan Mike Zunino showing off a “Sucks to be U” shirt before Saturday’s game versus Miami and FSU product Cash jokingly tossing Zunino’s custom Gators-themed class out of the dugout.
• The Rays were held to one or no runs for the 19th time.
• Outfielder Tommy Pham logged his team-high 34th multi-hit game, and second straight.
• Add Orioles broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer to those impressed by Ryan Yarbrough. Palmer asked pitching coach Kyle Snyder how Yarbrough can be so precise with his control of so many different pitches.
• Austin Meadows seemed pleased to get the proper pronunciation of his Players Weekend nickname from the Camden Yards publc-address announcer. He went with MEADS as a shorter version of his last name and wanted it pronounced that way, essentially as if it were MEDS. When the announcer Friday said it like it’s spelled, rhyming with NEEDS, Meadows sent word through Rays public-relations rep Karly Fisher. And to further make the point, he taped over the A in pregame workouts. The announcer got it right Saturday, and he acknowledged that before his first at-bat with a thumbs up.