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Rays will give Drew Rasmussen extra rest for playoffs

Notes | Rather than start Wednesday, the right-hander will be fully available to pitch at Cleveland or Toronto.
Drew Rasmussen is done for the regular season so he'll be sharper if needed for the playoffs.
Drew Rasmussen is done for the regular season so he'll be sharper if needed for the playoffs. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Oct. 4|Updated Oct. 5

BOSTON — The Rays made the somewhat expected decision to not have Drew Rasmussen start Wednesday’s regular-season finale against Boston so he can be fully rested and available for the weekend Wild Card Series at Cleveland.

How Rasmussen will be used against the Guardians is unclear.

Shane McClanahan and Tyler Glasnow are slated to start the first two games in the best-of-three series, with the Rays likely deciding between Rasmussen and lefty Jeffrey Springs for Game 3, if it is needed, with the other available in relief. Springs worked three innings Tuesday in an abbreviated start against the Red Sox.

“I don’t think we’ve got anything finalized yet, but certainly know that Drew is going to be on our (first-round) roster and want to make sure that he is as fresh as possible,” manager Kevin Cash said.

Rasmussen said he welcomed having a couple extra days off, and was in “wait and see” mode for how he would be used, with plans to throw a light bullpen session Wednesday.

“Anytime you can get extra rest, I think you’re gonna take it, especially at the end of the 162(-game season),” Rasmussen said. “It’s the opportunity to get a couple extra days rest before going into the biggest series of the year.”

Lefty Josh Fleming, added to the taxi squad Monday, is slated to start Wednesday, weather permitting as rain is forecast.

Roster shuffling

Lefty Jalen Beeks, out since mid-September with right leg tightness, threw a 25-pitch simulated game Tuesday and looked and felt good, Cash said. Beeks could play a larger role against Cleveland with Colin Poche lost for the postseason after straining his right oblique Tuesday. ... Catcher Rene Pinto was activated from the taxi squad to replace Francisco Mejia, who was placed on the paternity list to return to Florida to be with his wife for the birth of their third child. Mejia is expected back for Friday’s playoff opener. ... The Rays also continued to churn the last spot in their bullpen to make sure there is a fresh arm available, calling up veteran right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis and designated for assignment Kevin Herget, who worked the final 4 1/3 innings Monday.

Lineup juggling

David Peralta was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup to get some extra time for his sore right hip to feel better, with rookie Jonathan Aranda taking his place in leftfield and playing in front of the Green Monster. … Yandy Diaz was back in the lineup at third base for the first time since Sept. 19, having been limited to one start at DH and one pinch-hit appearance due to left shoulder soreness. He went 0-for-2 … Outfielder Randy Arozarena, 0-for-his-last-12 and 1-for-28, didn’t play Tuesday. ... The Rays scored one or no runs for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

Ticket info

The Rays are opening the upper deck at Tropicana Field for the postseason, with tickets for potential AL Division Series home games going on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Wednesday via raysbaseball.com, after several pre-sales earlier in the week. Also of note, the Rays are limiting general public sales to Florida residents; those eligible for pre-sales could buy regardless of their home state.

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