ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays’ 26-man roster for the American League Division Series against the Red Sox includes relievers Matt Wisler and Josh Fleming, but not outfielder Brett Phillips nor lefty Ryan Yarbrough.
Also included is infielder/outfielder Jordan Luplow, who was optioned to Triple-A on Sept. 27 to get at-bats and reps at first base. He is expected to be in the lineup in Games 1 and 2 against Sox lefties Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale.
The Rays had been leaning toward carrying 12 pitchers and 14 position players, but decided to add a 13th pitcher, which led to Phillips being excluded.
With the Sox planning lefty starters in Games 1 and 2 (and maybe 5), Luplow will be in the lineup at first base, and he can play outfield if needed. Phillips would have had a minimal role. And, for what it’s worth, Phillips will be in dugout providing his usual energy and enthusiasm.
Wisler, who missed much of the final six weeks due to right middle finger inflammation before pitching twice in the final four days of the season, can be a key bullpen piece.
Wisler said Wednesday that he felt fine, which manager Kevin Cash said was encouraging. His inclusion would indicate the Rays feel comfortable he can pitch multiple innings and/or back-to-back days.
Fleming, who was converted from starter to reliever last month, is the lone lefty in the bullpen. Also left off was Nick Anderson, who is still working back into form form a spring elbow injury.
The Rays added rookie right-hander Shane Baz, their planned Game 2 starter, to the roster as an injury replacement since he was not on their 40-man roster at the Sept. 1 cutoff. He can replace any of the players on the 60-day injured list who served their full time.
And here is the roster for the Red Sox:
There are still plenty of tickets available for tonight’s Game 1, according to raysbaseball.com, with a crowd of close to 30,000 expected.
There are hundreds of $50 seats in every section of the upper level, except for directly behind home plate. There are several hundred seats for $150 each in the lower level down the left and rightfield lines.
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