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With Drew Rasmussen out, Rays summon Yonny Chirinos (remember him?)

The right-hander hasn’t pitched in the majors since August 2020, having undergone Tommy John surgery and dealt with several setbacks.
Rays relief pitcher Yonny Chirinos arrives ahead of Tuesday's game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Chirinos, who last pitched in the majors on Aug. 16, 2020 before having Tommy John elbow surgery, was reinstated from the 60-day injured list.
Rays relief pitcher Yonny Chirinos arrives ahead of Tuesday's game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Chirinos, who last pitched in the majors on Aug. 16, 2020 before having Tommy John elbow surgery, was reinstated from the 60-day injured list. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Sep. 6|Updated Sep. 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Just having Yonny Chirinos back in uniform and on the active roster Tuesday was exciting for the Rays. Seeing him pitch for the first time in the majors in more than two years will be even more special, potentially as soon as Wednesday.

With Drew Rasmussen scratched from his Tuesday start following the early-morning birth of his and wife Stevie’s son, the Rays summoned Chirinos from Triple-A Durham, where he had been rehabbing while on the 60-day injured list, to join the staff and be available to work bulk innings.

Chirinos last pitched in the majors on Aug. 16, 2020. He underwent Tommy John elbow surgery, then had a serious setback when he fractured a bone in his elbow.

Rays coaches and teammates, who have raved about how hard Chirinos works and how good of a teammate he has been, were happy to welcome him back.

“Probably as excited as I’ve been for any pitcher that we’ve had in this organization, just given all that he’s been through,” said pitching coach Kyle Snyder, who has worked with Chirinos since both were in the minor leagues in 2014.

“Just the injuries, coming back from the UCL (tear), the disappointment of having the avulsion fracture and the amount of time he’s missed, to be able to get back here ... I just really can’t be happier.”

Chirinos, 28, has looked good in his rehab games, working his way through the minor-league system and making three, three-inning appearances for Durham, hitting 96-97 mph. “A lot of the same stuff prior to the injury,” Snyder said.

Snyder also said Chirinos — 14-10 with a 3.65 ERA over parts of three seasons in the majors — is “arguably the hardest-working pitcher I’ve been around,” a group that includes Nathan Eovaldi and Tyler Glasnow.

Medical matters: Lowe, Franco, McClanahan, Glasnow

Brandon Lowe is in line to be activated as soon as Wednesday, having gotten past the pain and discomfort of being hit by a pitch on the right elbow/triceps area on Aug. 26. “It’s a possibility,” Cash said of Lowe returning on his first day eligible. ... Wander Franco is expected to resume his rehab with Durham on Wednesday, after leaving Monday’s game (his second) with some discomfort in his surgically repaired right hand. Cash said Franco went for treatment on Tuesday’s off day in Durham, took 40-50 swings in the cage and “felt good.” ... Top starter Shane McClanahan, sidelined due to a left shoulder impingement, threw off the mound for the first time since his Aug. 30 warmup in Miami, 15-20 pitches, all fastballs and changeups. He will throw another bullpen session in a few days, and if all goes well Cash said McClanahan will rejoin the rotation. He is eligible to return on Sept. 15. ... Glasnow is slated on Wednesday to make his first rehab game appearance since his August 2021 Tommy John surgery, working one inning for Durham.

Miscellany

Christian Bethancourt’s and Yu Chang’s sixth-inning homers were the fourth time the Rays went back-to-back this season. ... Outfielder Manuel Margot was presented his previously announced team Heart and Hustle award. ... One blemish on the night: an announced attendance of 8,069 on the first of the return to 6:40 weeknight starts. ... Garrett Cleavinger is the 24th Ray with a win, most in the majors and tying the team record.

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