TORONTO — With relievers Brooks Raley and Ryan Thompson unable to travel to Canada given the vaccine requirement, the Rays knew they were going to have to make some adjustments to their pitching staff for what already was a rigorous challenge — five games in four days against the potent Blue Jays.
That became magnified when Jeffrey Springs, who was in line to start Thursday’s game, also had to skip the trip due to a family medical matter.
As a result, the Rays had to change their pitching plans for Thursday’s game, as well.
They decided to use Matt Wisler as the opener and summoned lefty Ryan Yarbrough from Triple-A Durham to work bulk innings behind him. Springs was placed on the family medical emergency list.
Two right-hander relievers, Javy Guerra and USF product Phoenix Sanders, were called up from Triple-A Durham and added to the 40-man roster. They replace Raley and Thompson, who were placed on the restricted list and won’t get pay or service time for the four days they missed.
For added depth, the Rays also brought relievers Dusten Knight and recently reacquired David McKay to Toronto on the taxi squad, so they are close by if needed.
The Rays will get to add a player to the active roster, expanding it to 27, for Saturday’s doubleheader. Games start at 12:07 p.m. and 6:07.
That could be one of the relievers, or potentially lefty Josh Fleming (though he worked six innings on Tuesday) or Luis Patino, who has been on a rehab assignment at Durham.
The Rays pitching for the weekend as of now looks like this, with Drew Rasmussen expected to join the rotation Saturday and Sunday:
Thursday: Wisler opener, Yarbrough bulk
Friday: Corey Kluber
Saturday: Shane McClanahan and TBA, order to be determined
Sunday: Shane Baz or TBA
Here is the Rays lineup, with all but one right-handed or switch-hitter vs. Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi:
And for the Jays:
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