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Valuable Rays reliever Collin McHugh sidelined with arm fatigue

Rays notes | The veteran right-hander has played a key role in the bullpen; Ryan Sherriff is called up.
Reliever Collin McHugh delivers a pitch against the Royals on May 27 at the Trop.
Reliever Collin McHugh delivers a pitch against the Royals on May 27 at the Trop. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jul. 25

CLEVELAND — Already shorthanded due to a seasonlong run of injuries and heavy use of their healthy arms, the Rays lost another key piece of their bullpen Sunday when Collin McHugh was placed on the 10-day injured list with arm fatigue.

The 34-year-old right-hander has been one of their most effective relievers over the past few months, often working in a multi-inning or opener role, allowing one earned run in his past 19 appearances with 54 strikeouts in 36⅓ innings.

The Rays don’t know exactly how long McHugh will be out, but they don’t consider the issue to be a sign of a serious injury and would be pleased to get him back on the mound within two weeks.

Manager Kevin Cash said the issue surfaced as McHugh made two two-inning appearances after the All-Star break and “the bounce-back just wasn’t quite there,’' leading to the diagnosis.

“We know that we’ve got to get him right, that’s for sure, because he’s been as valuable as anybody down there,’' Cash said. “It didn’t make a ton of sense to wait and try to push through it. So we’ll try to freshen him up and see if we can get his arm feeling better, and then get him back out there. We need him.’'

The McHugh decision was made shortly before Sunday’s game, but the team was able to replace him on the active roster with lefty Ryan Sherriff, who was in Cleveland as a member of the taxi squad.

The Rays now have a franchise-record 14 players on the injured list, 13 of those being pitchers.

With an open spot on the 40-man roster after trading Rich Hill on Friday, the team claimed reliever Jake Reed off waivers from the Dodgers.

Reed, 28, spent seven years in the minors before being called up this year, going 0-0, 3.38 in six games (one start) for the Dodgers. He then was designated for assignment July 21. He will initially be assigned to Triple-A Durham, but Cash noted that Red has been tough on right-handed hitters and could be of use in the upcoming series against the Yankees and Red Sox.

Power ball

Cash marveled at the 406-foot, 107.3 mph home run Nelson Cruz hit in the sixth on a 92 mph fastball from Triston McKenzie at the top of the strike zone. “Man, he hits the ball hard,’' Cash said. “For him to get on top of that ball, it’s just amazing how talented he is. That ball is not supposed to be driven out to dead center. It looked like a letter-high fastball coming in the mid-90s and went out like nothing.’' It was Cruz’s second homer in three games since being acquired Thursday from Minnesota, his 21st of this season, and 438th of his career, tying Andrew Dawson for 45th all time.

More medical matters

Outfielder Manuel Margot (left hamstring) appears set to return Tuesday from the injured list, assuming he feels no soreness Monday after playing his third and final rehab game Sunday with Durham. … Reliever Nick Anderson, out since spring with a right-elbow sprain, will throw an inning Monday for the Florida Complex League team in his second outing and if all goes well, will shift his rehab to Durham. … Right-hander Chris Archer, out since early April with an elbow issue, is slated for his fourth rehab outing Tuesday for Durham, throwing four innings or 60 pitches.

Miscellany

• Austin Meadows logged his 71st RBI, fifth most in the American League.

• The Rays’ winning streak over the Indians ended at 11, one shy of their best against any team, having beaten the Orioles 12 straight in 2008. After winning the first six this season, the Rays also missed out on what would have been just their second season-series sweep of an AL opponent, having gone 7-0 against the Royals in 2018.

• The Rays reached the 100-game mark at 60-40, putting them on pace to finish the season 97-65.

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