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Rays have lefty Cody Reed back in bullpen

A Botox injection seemed to help with thumb issues. Now it’s a matter of returning to spring form.
In five regular-season appearances before being sidelined, Cody Reed had given up just one earned run.
In five regular-season appearances before being sidelined, Cody Reed had given up just one earned run. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 1
Updated May 2

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made the first of several moves to bolster their bullpen Saturday, reinstating lefty Cody Reed from the injured list.

Reed last pitched April 15, sidelined by a recurrence of numbness/weakness in his left thumb that cut short his 2020 season after two appearances following his acquisition from Cincinnati.

A Botox injection helped during the offseason, so the Rays had Reed try that procedure again, with the hope he returns to the impressive form he showed during spring training.

In five regular-season appearances before being sidelined, Reed had given up just one earned run but allowed eight of 17 batters to reach base (four hits, three walks, one hit batter).

“The injury has been tough to identify, tough to find out when/if the injection wears off,” manager Kevin Cash said. “If he can do what he did in spring training and feel good — the (velocity) was up, the strike-throwing was considerably up — that’s the guy that we want to see.”

Saturday was a good start, as Reed worked a 1-2-3 ninth with one strikeout, throwing seven of 14 pitches for strikes. “He looked good,” Cash said. “He looked healthy, which was encouraging. I think with more reps, we’ll see that continued effort of strike-throwing.”

Having Reed back — and having another lefty relief option in addition to Jeffrey Springs — should help, and more is expected soon.

Pete Fairbanks looked good Saturday in testing his previously strained shoulder in throwing to the rehabbing Ji-Man Choi and Triple-A catcher Kevan Smith. Collin McHugh will throw one-plus simulated innings Sunday to see how his previously strained back holds up.

Both relievers could accompany the Rays when they leave for the West Coast after Sunday’s game and be activated during the week-long trip to Anaheim and Oakland, Calif.

Also:

* Lefty Rich Hill is set to start Sunday after being reinstated from the COVID-19 related injured list. He felt sick Friday as a result of side effects from the vaccine.

* Right-hander Trevor Richards was optioned to Triple-A, as fellow reliever Louis Head was after Friday’s game, to make room on the roster.

* Outfielder Randy Arozarena learned the baby he and wife, Cenelia Pinedo Blanco, are expecting will be a girl after a gender reveal on the Trop video board courtesy of teammates Willy Adames, Yandy Diaz and Manuel Margot.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Astros:

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