ST. PETERSBURG — The Yankees will see a different Shane McClanahan in Tuesday’s series opener against the Rays than in his June 2 start, when they tagged the rookie lefty for two runs in the first inning then chased him in the fourth with two more.
“I feel like I’m in a different spot mentally and physically,” McClanahan said. “I feel like I’ve gotten stronger and I’ve learned a lot since then. So I don’t necessarily think I was the same pitcher two months ago, whenever it was, as I am now. So I’m excited to get on the rubber and go to work.”
McClanahan, the 24-year-old USF product, had a similarly rough outing in his next start against Washington on June 9, allowing three runs and lasting only three innings.
But since then, he has been a somewhat different pitcher, going 2-2, 3.16 in six starts, allowing only a .208 average, working at least five innings five times.
McClanahan was particularly sharp in his last outing Tuesday against Baltimore, allowing one run and four hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out seven, inducing a career best 22 swing-and misses, though he did throw 93 pitches.
Outfielder Manuel Margot is set to be activated off the injured list Tuesday, having missed 15 games with a left hamstring strain. He went 4-for-14 and stole a base in three rehab games for Triple-A Durham. Reliever Sean Poppen was optioned Monday to make room. … Reliever Nick Anderson had a 1-2-3, two-strikeout inning Monday for the Florida Complex League Rays in his second rehab outing and is expected to move up to Durham next. He has been out since spring with an elbow sprain. …. Lefty Brendan McKay, who had a prior setback in his rehab from shoulder surgery, also worked a 1-2-3 inning in that game.
• • •
Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.