Cody Reed became the sixth member of the Rays’ planned season-opening bullpen to be sidelined Tuesday, placed on the injured list with a recurrence of the left hand numbness/weakness that cut last season short.
Brent Honeywell was summoned from Port Charlotte to add a fresh arm to a relief corps that has been shuffled frequently, used heavily and, after a rocky start, done relatively well.
“At this point, we’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” manager Kevin Cash said before the 14-7 win in Kansas City. “They’ve handled things really well. We’ve dealt with our fair share of adversity in the bullpen. We are missing some key guys that we’ve relied heavily on over the last couple seasons. ....
“There’s plenty of guys down there that have really stepped up and kind of held it down and continue to buy us time. And that’s what we’re going to need out of them.”
Reed, 28, was considered the top lefty in the bullpen, working in five games with a 2.70 ERA. He hadn’t pitched since Thursday, but Cash said it wasn’t until a Monday throwing session that Reed reported that his hand “just didn’t feel right.”
Reed was sidelined by a similar issue in late August shortly after being acquired from the Reds, pitching in only two games. But he came to spring camp saying he felt fine, allowing that the issue could be related to a mild form of thoracic outlet syndrome, but that an offseason Botox injection helped.
“It’s an issue that he’s tried to manage, and give him a lot of credit,” Cash said. “He worked hard, managed it well in the offseason. I don’t know if we’ve ever totally got exactly what was going on. He’s been checked out (and) checked out.’' Reed flew home, with plans for further evaluation Wednesday.
Since the last week of spring training, the Rays also have lost Nick Anderson (elbow) and Chaz Roe (shoulder) at least into July, Pete Fairbanks (shoulder) into June, Ryan Sherriff (time away from game) for an undetermined period, and Collin McHugh (back). Cash said there wasn’t much to update, though he did say Fairbanks has made “encouraging” progress in his rehab throwing program.
A Honey-do list
The Rays were considering using Honeywell as the opener for Michael Wacha on Wednesday, but needed him Tuesday after Rich Hill got knocked out in the third inning. Honeywell, who retired all six Yankees he faced in his April 11 debut, took over in the fourth but lasted only 1 1/3 innings and 27 pitches. He allowed a two-out walk in the fourth, then a one-out homer to Carlos Santana in the fifth followed by a walk and a single.
Cash said Honeywell is still limited to two-three inning stints in his return to active duty following three-plus years of multiple elbow injuries and four procedures. He was slated to throw Tuesday at the alt site but instead took a commercial connecting flight to Kansas City and cleared COVID-19 intake protocols in time for the game.
Number of the day
43 Temperature at first pitch, third game on this trip at 45 degrees or colder.
⋅ Wednesday’s game ends a stretch of 13 straight days played. After Thursday’s off day, the Rays play another 17 in a row.
⋅ Wacha is slated for the bulk of the work Wednesday, coming off six shutout innings against the Yankees on Friday, explaining, “I felt like I was able to throw every pitch in any count.”
⋅ Always humble Joey Wendle isn’t running with the Big Bopper nickname Cash bestowed on him for his team co-leading three homers. Cash joked he’s not taking it too far either: “I wouldn’t get T-shirts because I’m sure I won’t be saying that much longer.”
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