Rays activate Manuel Margot from injured list to add outfield depth

Notes | With Jose Siri sidelined with a broken hand, Margot will provide depth, as well as an option to start in centerfield.
The Rays on Thursday activated veteran outfielder Manuel Margot from the 10-day injured list.
The Rays on Thursday activated veteran outfielder Manuel Margot from the 10-day injured list. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Sept. 14|Updated Sept. 15

BALTIMORE — With starting centerfielder Jose Siri sidelined for the rest of the regular season, the Rays decided two rehab games were enough for veteran outfielder Manuel Margot and activated him Thursday from the 10-day injured list.

Margot had been out since having surgery Aug. 16 to remove bone chips from his right elbow and originally was scheduled for a six-day rehab. But after Siri was hurt Monday and Margot went 5-for-6 with two walks in games for Triple-A Durham on Tuesday and Wednesday, manager Kevin Cash called him (“He said he felt really good, and with the way at-bats played out, I would assume he felt very good,” Cash relayed) and they agreed to an early return.

“He went down there and checked the boxes as far as showing that he’s healthy,” Cash said before Thursday’s opener of the key four-game series with AL East-leading Baltimore. “Is he 100%? I think he’s 100% with everything, maybe the throwing might be a little less than 100. But we would expect that, and that might not come back until a couple of weeks down the road. We weren’t going to wait that long to activate him; he’s too important to our team. And, certainly, this is a big series.”

Margot, a right-handed hitter, will start in center against lefty pitchers and possibly some right-handers; lefty swingers Luke Raley (who started Thursday) and Josh Lowe also will get starts, with Margot available off the bench.

Margot, who was driven from Durham to Baltimore on Thursday, was happy to be back.

“I felt pretty good, thank God,” he said via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “And now I’m just here to help out the team however I can.”

Margot acknowledged he didn’t have a chance to test his arm in a game situation but said he had been “playing a little bit of long toss” and it felt good.

Margot was hitting .249 with three homers, 30 RBIs and a .654 OPS in 85 games before he was sidelined.

To make room on the 28-man active roster, the Rays sent down infielder/outfielder Vidal Brujan, who started at shortstop Wednesday and made two errors. This was the fifth time Brujan was optioned, which means if he is called up again this season he either has to stay in the majors or be designated for assignment and exposed to waivers.

Call him Cy Poche

Colin Poche was the first reliever in for the Rays, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth inning and then getting the win as the Rays took the lead for good in the top of the seventh. That have him 12 victories for the season, matching the third-most of all American League pitchers, with a 2.15 ERA. “Is he up for Cy Young?” Cash joked.

Going virtual

Wednesday’s Rays-Angels game at Tropicana Field will be the first regular-season game to be streamed by Major League Baseball using its virtual ballpark technology. Per MLB, by synching with Gameday 3D on any personal device, fans will be able to “watch a three-dimensional representation of the game and interact with each other as it’s being played.” That includes viewing from “previously impossible angles,” talking with each other via spatial audio and playing trivia games and participating in other activities. For more info, visit

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There’s no Bally Sports Sun coverage of Friday’s game, as it was chosen as part pf the national AppleTV+ package, with Rays sideline reporter Tricia Whitaker part of the coverage team. … The Rays are 68-3 when leading after seven innings. ... Reliever Robert Stephenson logged his 400th career strikeout in his 1-2-3 eighth inning, his 14th straight scoreless outing. .... The Rays improved to 32-16 in series openers, tied with the Orioles for second-best behind the Braves.

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