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Rays send Ryan Yarbrough to Triple A, will add Shane Baz to rotation

Notes | Yarbrough was 0-3 with a 5.65 ERA in seven games; Baz will pitch this weekend in Minnesota.
Ryan Yarbrough, left, leaves the mound after being taken out as manager Kevin Cash, right, and catcher Mike Zunino wait for a reliever to arrive from the bullpen during the second inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Tropicana Field.
Ryan Yarbrough, left, leaves the mound after being taken out as manager Kevin Cash, right, and catcher Mike Zunino wait for a reliever to arrive from the bullpen during the second inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Tropicana Field. [ PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP ]
Published Jun. 7|Updated Jun. 8

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays had seen enough of Ryan Yarbrough.

Or at least the way he was pitching, optioning the 30-year-old veteran left-hander to Triple-A Durham and planning to activate Shane Baz to take his place in the rotation.

“Extremely tough decision,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said Tuesday. “We’ve kind of wrapped our heads around this for a little while. I know ‘Yarbs,’ what he’s contributed to our club, has been incredibly impactful. Just felt like at this given time, we’re better positioned with the five starters that we have.”

Baz now will be the fifth, joining the rotation this weekend in Minnesota, starting Friday or Saturday.

On Sunday, Baz made his fourth and final rehab start for Durham, striking out 10 over 4⅓ innings as the right-hander completed his recovery from spring arthroscopic elbow surgery. Baz, 22, made his debut in September, making three starts in the regular season and one in the AL Division Series.

“He checked every box along the way throughout his rehab,” Cash said. “We were really pleased with the way he threw the other night. It seems like he backed up each outing to translate into helping us win games. And we’re excited to have him here.”

Yarbrough last pitched on Sunday, allowing six runs and eight hits to the White Sox without getting through the second inning in a 6-5 loss. In seven games he was 0-3 with a 5.65 ERA, allowing 34 hits and 10 walks in 28⅔ innings.

“We feel very confident he’s going to continue to contribute,” Cash said. “I think there are things that he can go down there and find some consistency and rhythm with.But it definitely doesn’t make it easier in the moment. Certainly for Yarbs.”

Yarbrough, who still will get his $3.85 million salary in the minors, has a 37-26, 4.38 mark over parts of five seasons with the Rays.

Lowe, Franco updates

Cash said Brandon Lowe (low back discomfort) and Wander Franco (quad strain) are moving toward returning, but it will be a while.

When Franco went on the injured list May 31, the Rays said they hoped he would be back in two weeks. Cash said Franco continues to receive treatment and is progressing toward strengthening exercises but will need more time. “I don’t feel like he’ll be back in one (more) week,” Cash said.

Lowe was reevaluated as planned after three weeks of no baseball activity and given permission to start doing some rotational exercises. He hopes to pick up a bat for the first time Friday and hit off a tee. Cash said “it’s going to take a couple weeks” for Lowe to progress through stages of hitting, running and fielding drills, and he will some rehab games after that.

Starter Luis Patino (oblique) is headed to Durham to start a weekslong rehab assignment.

Miscellany

Lefty Packy Naughton will be the opener for the Cardinals on Wednesday. ... Albert Pujols logged his 3,320th hit, passing Paul Molitor for ninth on the all-time list. He also played in his 3,002nd game, passing Cal Ripken Jr. for eighth most. ... Luke Bard, who signed a minor-league deal during spring training, was called up from Triple A to join the bullpen. Bard, the younger brother of Rockies reliever Daniel Bard, spent parts of 2018-20 with the Angels, then missed all of 2021 undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery. ... Kevin Kiermaier was in the cleanup spot Tuesday, the second such assignment of his career.

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