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Rays pass on starting Tyler Glasnow vs. Yankees this time

Rays notes | Extra rest is a bigger priority at this point in the season, so Michael Wacha will pitch Saturday.
The Rays and Yankees play again next week in New York, and Tyler Glasnow likely will get a turn on the mound in that series.
The Rays and Yankees play again next week in New York, and Tyler Glasnow likely will get a turn on the mound in that series. [ MICHAEL DWYER | AP ]
Published Apr. 10
Updated Apr. 10

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays could have made life tougher on the Yankees by starting their ace, Tyler Glasnow, in Sunday’s series finale.

That would be Glasnow’s normal fifth day to work. It’s early in the season so he is strong and fresh. And their alternative would seem less imposing, using veteran newcomer Michael Wacha, and possibly behind an opener.

But Rays manager Kevin Cash said he didn’t give it much consideration.

“There was no temptation on my end,” Cash said before Saturday’s game. “I know we talked about it. Given we know that Tyler is coming off a little bit of the (stiff) back thing in Miami. He didn’t feel it against Boston, which is a good thing. He had a pretty thick workload against Boston. He really had to kind of step on it that last inning to get through the sixth.

“We’re still less than two weeks into the season. I think it makes the most sense to let him have that extra day. I’m sure he would have liked to pitch. But at this point in the season, let’s continue to do right by these guys and make sure we’re prioritizing their bounce-back and go from there. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to pitch on five days’ rest going forward.”

Glasnow instead will start Monday’s series opener against the Rangers. The Yankees had the same option to start their ace, Gerrit Cole, Sunday on regular rest. Instead they will use him Monday against the Jays in Dunedin with lefty Jordan Montgomery starting Sunday at the Trop.

Plus the teams meet next weekend in New York, and both Glasnow and Cole are likely to start.

The Rays planned to decide sometime after Saturday’s game, based on who and how relievers were used, whether to let Wacha start, as he has done most of his career, or have him pitch behind an opener, as he did in his last spring outing.

Wacha said he was good with whatever the Rays decide.

“Just stay ready for whenever,” he said. “I’ll put in my normal preparation to get ready for an outing against the Yankees. And whenever they call for me to pitch and I’ll just, I’ll be ready.”

Margot slowed

Activating Brett Phillips on Friday and starting him in centerfield two straight games allowed some extra rest for Manuel Margot, whom Cash acknowledged has been slowed after he “tweaked his groin/quad a little bit.” Cash said Margot has been available to pinch hit, and they are eyeing a Sunday return to the lineup against Montgomery. “We’re hoping with one more day he’ll be back in there (Sunday),” Cash said. “...I don’t think he’s too happy about not playing.”

Miscellany

⋅Rightfieder Aaron Judge (sore left side) and third baseman Gio Urshela (reaction to vaccination) returned to the Yankees’ lineup after being out Friday.

⋅ Reliever Hunter Strickland spent the spring and the alternate site workouts living in a 28-foot trailer parked in Port Charlotte. He got called up a bit unexpectedly on Friday and for now is commuting. “We’ll make it work,” he said. “We’ll figure it out and find a find a place out here.”

⋅ Outgoing communications vice president Dave Haller threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday.

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