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Rays lose Luis Patino, JT Chargois to oblique injuries

Notes | The news is worse for Patino, who could miss about two months. Chargois could be back within weeks.
Rays pitcher Luis Patino, walking off the field with athletic trainer Aaron Scott during the first inning of Monday's game against the A's at Tropicana Field, is likely to miss about two months with an oblique strain.
Rays pitcher Luis Patino, walking off the field with athletic trainer Aaron Scott during the first inning of Monday's game against the A's at Tropicana Field, is likely to miss about two months with an oblique strain. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Apr. 12|Updated Apr. 13

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays got bad news on starter Luis Patino and a slightly less worse update on reliever JT Chargois after both underwent MRIs for left oblique issues.

Patino, who left Monday’s start after 13 pitches, was diagnosed with a strain and seems likely to miss about two months. Chargois, who has not pitched since Friday’s opener, was diagnosed with tightness and potentially could return in two-three weeks. Both were placed on the 10-day injured list.

“We’ll see over the next coming days how quickly they respond to treatment,” manager Kevin Cash said. “And then we’ll probably have a better gauge of how long they’re going to be out.”

Patino’s loss seems significant, given the Rays’ shortage of starters. Monday, they put Ryan Yarbrough on the 10-day injured list due to groin tightness (backdated to Friday) with the hope he can return when eligible Monday at the Cubs. They already were without Shane Baz (spring arthroscopic elbow surgery) and top starter Tyler Glasnow (recovering from August Tommy John elbow surgery).

An oblique strain for a pitcher usually results in a six-to-eight week absence, “but you never know,” Cash said of Patino. “He’s 22, he’s in better shape, as good a shape as any guy that we have on our roster. It’s too early to tell how long he’ll be out.”

Patino said he hopes to return as soon as possible and will do all the work necessary.

Prospect Tommy Romero was called up and started in Yarbrough’s place Tuesday against Oakland, lasting only 1 2/3 innings. He could stick around, as the Rays will need a starter Sunday at the White Sox and Cash said, “like to see him bounce back and confident he’ll have a stronger outing.’' Josh Fleming is slated to start Thursday, allowing the Rays to push back Drew Rasmussen and the others a day for extra rest.

Cash said Chargois’ issue first surfaced late in spring. It was managed well enough for him to pitch in Friday’s opener, but he “just felt it tug a little bit” while playing catch before a weekend game.

Chargois is the second high-leverage reliever to be sidelined, as the Rays during the spring lost Pete Fairbanks for about three months due to a lat muscle issue.

Hello, nice to meet you

After summoning Ryan Thompson Monday, the Rays added another arm to the bullpen Tuesday, calling up right-hander Ralph Garza Jr., who they claimed on waivers last week from the Red Sox. Boston had claimed him a couple weeks earlier from the Twins. Garza was put right to work, going three innings in the 9-8, 10-inning win. He allowed the A’s to tie the game by allowing three runs in the seventh, but nothing the next two. The 28-year-old pitched for the Astros and Twins last year with a 1-4. 3.56 record in 27 games, striking out 29 in 30-1/3 innings. He used somewhat different deliveries against right- and left-handed hitters. He was happy to be at Tropicana Field after a hectic week in which he went from Boston’s Triple-A Worcester, Mass., team to Triple-A Durham and then back to the majors with the Rays. “It’s an exciting time,” said Garza, who is no relation to former Rays starter Matt Garza. “Anything I can do to help the team win, I’m up for it. So as long as I’m here, I’m going to do that.”

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With Romero pitching for the Rays and Adam Oller for the A’s, Tuesday’s game was the 28th since 1901 (when data is available) with both starters making their big-league debuts. ... Romero had a rough night, throwing 59 pitches to get five outs, walking five, going to full counts on six of the first nine hitters. ... The game took 4 hours, 12 minutes, with 397 pitches thrown by 14 pitchers, and 17 walks. ... In working the final two innings on the mound Monday, outfielder Brett Phillips became the third Rays “pitcher” to bat at the Trop, following Andy Sonnanstine (2009, lineup error) and Wade Boggs (1999).

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