CHICAGO — The Rays won’t know until at least Tuesday the extent of Pete Fairbanks’ left hip injury, but they knew he would be out long enough that they placed him on the 15-day injured list before Monday’s matinee.
For now, Fairbanks is sidelined by left hip inflammation. With the holiday impacting scheduling options, he will undergo an MRI and other testing Tuesday in the Tampa Bay area, which should provide a better indication of what is wrong and how long he will be out.
“I texted with him (Monday) morning; he said he was better today than he was leaving the ballpark (Sunday). Still sore,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Unfortunately, just because of the holiday it’s a little tough to get maybe all the imaging that we want to get done. So that’ll be done Tuesday, and then we’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on.”
Fairbanks was warming up in advance of pitching the ninth inning when “his hip locked up,” Cash said.
Trevor Kelley, who was optioned to Triple-A after Saturday’s game, was called back up, which made for a hectic couple days.
Kelley and his wife and two kids started Sunday at Tampa airport, flying to Charlotte and then Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to spend a few days at their Wilmington, North Carolina, home before he rejoined Durham. He got word from the Rays as they were on the second plane, so he spent the night at home and caught an early-morning flight Monday to Chicago.
With Fairbanks out — he also was sidelined from April 30-May 15 due to right forearm inflammation — the Rays are expected to use Jason Adam in closing situations and have other relievers to slide into higher-leverage roles. “We feel like we do have some guys that can provide some help,” Cash said.
Reliever Joe LaSorsa debuts
Joe LaSorsa gained much fame and notoriety for his over-the-top emotional celebration during a successful outing for Team Italy in the spring World Baseball Classic.
But he said that experience, playing with and against big-league players in a high-stakes atmosphere, helped him stay calm when he got to make his big-league debut Monday, working the seventh and eighth innings in the tense 1-0 loss, allowing just one walk.
“To be completely honest with you, I was just reverting back to kind of previous months earlier,” the 25-year-old lefty said. “The WBC definitely helped a lot to calm the nerves down. I think that was more of a shock to me than this. I was very composed out there. And I know that I have eight of the best guys in the big leagues behind me, so I felt really good.”
Cash said he had reason to: “He did a really nice job. ... I’m very happy for Joe. It looked like he pitched with a lot of composure. He got to some deep counts, but made big pitches when he needed to.”
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LaSorsa’s rise is impressive, given he was an 18th-round pick in 2019 from St. John’s, and he had only a half season above the Class A level before this spring, when he was invited to major-league camp (as a result of being on a WBC roster) and then pitching key innings.
His brother and girlfriend were among the supporters at Wrigley Field on Monday. (His parents, who made it to St. Petersburg on Sunday, when he was first called up but didn’t pitch, went back to New York.) LaSorsa’s rewards for his outing include the balls from his first out and first strikeout, and a bottle of tequila from the clubhouse staff.
The Rays were last one-hit on Sept. 19, 2017, also by the Cubs. (They were no-hit in 2022.) ... Infielder Yandy Diaz’s streak of reaching base ended at 22 games. ... Right-hander Chris Muller, who was designated for assignment Sunday to make room for LaSorsa, was released and placed on release waivers. .... Groups of Rays fans were seen all around Wrigley Field. ... Miles Mastrobuoni, who made his debut last season with the Rays and was traded to the Cubs in November, started at third Monday and batted leadoff, but went 0-for-3 with a walk.
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