ST. PETERSBURG — Hitting coach Chad Mottola said there is no reason for “panic” over the Rays recent hitting struggles nor any common theme, and that hard work is what will most help the players do better.
Also, he noted, it’s still relatively early in a 162-game season, with only 38 games played.
The Rays go into the game against the Yankees tonight having scored one run, and posted only seven hits, in the first two games of the series. While ranking ninth in the AL in runs, they are 12th in average (.217), 11th in homers (38), first in strikeouts (397) and last in hitting with runners in scoring position (.197).
Right-hander Jameson Taillon will be on the mound for the Yankees with lefty Rich Hill starting for the Rays.
The Yankees announced before the game that shortstop Gleyber Torres had tested positive for COVID-19, the eighth member of their traveling party to do so over the last couple days. Torres was placed on the COVID-19-related injured list and Miguel Andujar was called up.
First baseman Ji-Man Choi took batting practice on the field, but is still dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee and is “not quite ready yet” to be activated, manager Kevin Cash said. Choi will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, Cash said, and the hope is he is ready without having to go back to Triple-A Durham for more rehab games.
Cash said reliever Diego Castillo (groin tightness) is set to come off the injured list for the Friday opener of the series against the Mets.
Here is the Rays lineup, with shortstop Willy Adames, who is hitting .179 with 46 strikeouts, getting the day off, along with catcher Mike Zunino.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And here the lineup for the Yankees, without Torres:
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