Ji-Man Choi was not activated by the Rays today as he is dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.
Manager Kevin Cash said Choi was to return from Triple-A Durham this morning, but when he noted some soreness in the knee after playing for the Bulls on Tuesday, the Rays had him get checked by Dr. Koco Eaton, who did the arthroscopic surgery in March.
Cash said he didn’t consider the soreness to be a setback but more a matter of “tolerance” for Choi to deal with. Cash said the Rays still hope for Choi to be activated sometime soon and indicated it could be as early as Thursday.
“I think this is just a minor thing and that there’s a chance that he’s activated soon,” Cash said. “If it doesn’t go away, then we’ll have to revisit. I know that’s not the most clear answer. But I think going in, we have to wrap our heads around that there is going to be a little bit of a tolerance to a nagging issue for some time being just, you know, it’s just not going to feel 100 percent.”
Choi would have been a helpful addition to the Rays lineup, as he is one of the few players on the team who has had great success against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Noting that Cole has walked only three while striking out 66, Cash said it should be obvious to their hitters to not be looking for a walk.
Collin McHugh will be the opener for the Rays in a likely multi-inning role, with lefty Ryan Yarbrough expected to work the bulk of the innings.
Also, Cash said the Yankees have kept the Rays informed of the situation regarding the COVID-19 test issues with their staff and there has been discussion of not playing tonight’s game.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the team was up to seven members of its traveling party — three coaches, four staff members, all of whom had been fully vaccinated — testing positive, and shortstop Gleyber Torres will be out of the lineup tonight pending review of his test results.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And here is the Yankees lineup:
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