ST. PETERSBURG — Tyler Glasnow knows he is ready.
The Rays right-hander said he went out in his last two rehab starts and focused on getting hitters out instead of worrying about the strained oblique muscle that had him sidelined since early March .
So now, he said, he is ready to make his season debut for the Rays on Saturday against the Dodgers.
“I’m excited,” Glasnow said. “It’s been a while, just doing the rehab stuff, going and doing all the minor league stuff again. Just glad I’m feeling good.”
Glasnow allowed one earned run on two hits in six innings for Triple-A Durham on Sunday, convincing the Rays he was ready to return.
“He threw exceptionally well. We’re happy with that. I’m sure we’ll have an official announcement, but he’s going to be put back in our rotation,” manager Kevin Cash said before Monday night’s series-opening 6-4 win over the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.
“As long as he got through six innings. ... The next time he pitches he’ll be with us.”
In 2021, his last “full” season before Tommy John surgery, Glasnow was one of the top strikeout pitchers in the league with 123 in 88 innings. That ranked him among the top 3 percentile among major league pitchers.
It will be a much-needed boost for the Rays, whose rotation has taken some big hits already this season. Tampa Bay has been piecing together its rotation since losing Jeffrey Springs for the season to Tommy John surgery, and Drew Rasmussen for an extended period with a right-elbow flexor strain.
Bradley on regular rest
Taj Bradley will make his second start of the season on regular rest — and fifth overall — Tuesday night. The 22-year-old right-hander was sent down to Triple-A last month under the direction of getting used to throwing on four days of rest, the major-league norm.
But even the best-laid plans get changed.
“I threw on five days’ rest once and then Glasnow came for his rehab assignment, so they pushed me back a day,” Bradley said.
Bradley said he figured out how to make his pitches work with his arm a little more fatigued from the loss of a day’s rest. He learned his cutter is even a little harder.
“So coming up here I’ll be able to adjust to a five-day routine,” Bradley said. “And like I said, it’s good to know that everything’s normal.”
Fleming on the right track
Rays lefthander Josh Fleming had to find a way to attack right-handers this season to stick with the big-league club. In his second straight game against a heavily right-handed-hitting lineup, Fleming was solid Monday night.
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He matched a season-high with six innings pitched, allowing two runs (on a Whit Merrifield home run) and striking out two.
“You take away the home run, and we’ve got to be very pleased with the way he threw the ball,” Cash said. “And even when guys got on base, he had a knack for finding that ground ball to get the double play — very similar to kind of when we were in New York, big double-play balls and ground balls.”
Fleming, who pitched in bulk after Trevor Kelley started and worked the first two innings, is the only pitcher in the big leagues to throw multiple games (two) of six innings or more of relief this season.
The Rays placed lefty reliever Jake Diekman on the paternity list before Monday’s game and recalled right-hander Zack Burdi from Triple-A Durham. ... The Rays recorded their major-league-best 27th multi-home run game of the season Monday, and 16th with three homers or more, also most in the big leagues.
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