DUNEDIN — Reliever J.P. Feyereisen is all in on being part of the Rays after being traded Friday by the Brewers.
He has heard great things about the organization overall, is eager to see what suggestions and tweaks the staff has to make him better and is excited for the opportunity to pitch high-leverage innings.
But there is one thing about leaving his home state to move to Tampa Bay he’s not going to change: His allegiance to the Green Bay Packers.
“It’s pretty strong,” he said after joining the Rays on Saturday. “I don’t think that one’s going to get broken. I guess I can waver maybe in hockey a little bit, just because Wisconsin doesn’t have a hockey team, so I can cheer for the Lightning. I’ll be okay with that. But the Packers, I don’t see me myself wavering from them very, very much.”
Feyereisen, who made a solid one-inning debut with a strikeout, a walk and a ground-ball double play, adds a different look to the Rays’ stable of hard throwers.
He features a 93- to 94-mph fastball that, due to some uniqueness of his delivery, is effective by appearing to be “exploding” to hitters, Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It’s one of those fastballs that really plays up. ... It probably feels when you’re in the batter’s box like it’s coming on you a little quicker.”
Feyereisen, who also throws a slider and a relatively new changeup, said he has a good understanding of his fastball: “It doesn’t drop like a natural fastball, it kind of stays on its lane a little bit longer.”
Roster shuffle: Reed, Grullon, Mazza, more
Lefty Cody Reed won’t see a specialist until next week to decide how to address the recurring numbness/weakness in his left hand, which could be related to thoracic outlet syndrome and corrected with surgery that would end his season.
The Rays are clearly planning for him to be out a while, shifting him Saturday from the 10- to the 60-day injured list, pushing any potential return to mid-July. “We’re pretty convinced he’s going to miss a substantial amount of time,” Cash said.
The Rays added experienced catching depth at Triple-A Durham to replace Kevan Smith, claiming Deivy Grullon off waivers from the Mets. This is the second time they’ve claimed Grullon; they got him from the Reds on April 6, then designated him for assignment April 24.
Reliever Chris Mazza, on the injured list since April 24 with shoulder inflammation, was activated and optioned to Durham. Reliever Drew Rasmussen, acquired Friday with Feyereisen from Milwaukee for Willy Adames and Trevor Richards, also was optioned to Durham.
⋅ Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier left the game after four innings due to irritation from a scratch on his left eye. Cash said Kiermaier wanted to stay in but was having trouble seeing. His status for Sunday’s game was not clear.
⋅ Michael Wacha is set to be activated and start Sunday after three weeks on the injured list due to hamstring tightness; Brent Honeywell was optioned back to Triple-A after Saturday’s game. Lefty Josh Fleming is slated to work the bulk of the innings behind Wacha.
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⋅ The Rays’ streak of hitting three or more homers ended at five games, matching the second longest in MLB history; the 1987 Orioles did six.
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