ST. PETERSBURG — In the immediate wake of his masterful 7⅔-inning performance Monday night, Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow said he didn’t protest his removal by Kevin Cash because he didn’t want “to make a show out there.”
If Glasnow replicates that effort in the near future, he won’t have to, the Rays manager indicated Tuesday.
“I think we all totally envision that at certain parts of this season Tyler is going to be fully capable to complete eight innings,” said Cash, whose removal of starters even as they’re tossing untouchable stuff has been well-chronicled — and well-cursed — in these parts.
“I wouldn’t hold him up at completing nine innings.”
Cash said a handful of factors prompted him to pull his opening-day starter after his 102nd pitch in Monday night’s 1-0 win over the Rangers. Among them was the fact Glasnow had worked only six innings in each of his previous two stints and was entering potentially treacherous pitch-count territory.
He said he also wanted to put reliever Cody Reed in “a little bit softer of a landing spot” (two out, runner on first in bottom of the eighth), though he acknowledged a 1-0 lead offered little opportunity for softness.
“To Tyler’s point, he’s going to get opportunities to certainly get through that inning (in the future),” Cash said. “I mean, look, if his stuff is the way it was (Monday), there’s not going to be many guys that are going to be better equipped to continue going.”
Tsutsugo still struggling
In an effort to take pressure off beleaguered leadoff hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo, Cash moved him to sixth in Tuesday night’s batting order, to little avail.
Tsutsugo, a feared power hitter (six consecutive seasons of 20 or more home runs) in a previous life in Japan, was hitless in three at-bats before being lifted for pinch-hitter Manuel Margot with two on in the eighth inning. The futile night extended his current skid to 0-for-10.
Tsutsugo is hitting .147 after a .197 regular season in 2020. “I thought Yoshi did some good things at the beginning of the season, had some good at-bats, barreled some balls up,” Cash said.
“And I know here as of late, his strikeouts have kind of come on pretty quick. He showed a little frustration (Monday) night, which is fine. We welcome that, because he cares and he wants to be a part of what we’re doing, and he is a big part of what we’re doing.”
Kiermaier still on track
Cash said it remains “the hope” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (left quad strain) can return to the lineup within a week or so. Kiermaier, who ran again Tuesday, said the day before he was optimistic of such a timetable.
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Kiermaier was placed on the 10-day injured list April 6.
“I think we’d like to find a way to get him some type of (simulated) at-bats (Wednesday) or the next day and then see where we’re at,” Cash added. “We’ve missed him, that’s for sure. When he’s out there, we know we’ve got a really solid defense that allows people to slot back into maybe their ideal spots, but we’re not going to rush it at this point.”
Odds and ends
Brandon Lowe’s fourth-inning single Wednesday night snapped an 0-for-15 skid. He finished 2-for-4 and now is hitting .194. ... To make room for left-hander Josh Fleming, expected to make his 2021 debut Wednesday night, the Rays optioned infielder Kevin Padlo to the alternate training site. ... Third baseman Joey Wendle, who had a run-scoring double in the first inning Wednesday, now is batting .346 (9-for-26) with three doubles and eight RBIs against right-handed pitching. ... Reliever Diego Castillo said (through an interpreter) that he felt no ill effects after recording five outs on 27 pitches in Sunday’s 10-inning loss to the Yankees, followed by a three-out save Monday. “Thank God I feel good, and my arm feels 100-percent ready every time,” he said.
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