Raley, Thompson placed on restricted list ahead of Toronto series

Lefty Springs put on family medical emergency list; Guerra, Sanders and Yarbrough join Rays

June 30th, 2022

Before their series opener against the Blue Jays on Thursday, the Rays placed relievers Brooks Raley and Ryan Thompson on the restricted list and put left-hander Jeffrey Springs on the family medical emergency list amid a flurry of transactions.

To take their spots, the Rays added right-handed relievers Javy Guerra and Phoenix Sanders to the active roster and recalled left-hander Ryan Yarbrough from Triple-A Durham. Additionally, the team added righties Dusten Knight and David McKay to the taxi squad.

Springs, who has a 2.68 ERA in nine starts since moving out of the bullpen, had been in line to start Thursday’s game at Rogers Centre. The Rays will now use right-hander Matt Wisler as an opener, with Yarbrough presumably available behind him as a bulk-inning pitcher. Yarbrough last pitched in the Majors on June 5, when he gave up six runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings against the White Sox, then put together a 5.06 ERA over three starts in Triple-A.

Raley and Thompson did not travel with the club due to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Players who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are not permitted to travel with their teams to Toronto, as vaccination is required by Canadian federal law to enter the country. MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed before this season to allow roster modifications for games in Toronto.

There is no required minimum or maximum stay on the restricted list, meaning Raley and Thompson can rejoin the Rays as soon as Monday in Boston. Other clubs have made similar moves heading into series at Rogers Centre; the Twins were without four players earlier this month, and the Red Sox felt the absence of closer Tanner Houck earlier this week. This is the Rays’ first trip to Toronto this season.

These are tough losses for the Rays, as Thompson and Raley rank third and fourth on the team, respectively, in appearances out of the bullpen this season. The lefty Raley has put together a 2.22 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings over 27 outings. The right-handed Thompson owns a 5.33 ERA in 25 1/3 innings over 29 outings, although he’s recently rebounded from a rough stretch with three straight scoreless appearances.

And the Rays are already missing plenty of key figures in the bullpen. High-leverage arms J.P. Feyereisen, Pete Fairbanks, Andrew Kittredge, Nick Anderson and JT Chargois are on the injured list. That leaves right-hander Jason Adam and lefty Colin Poche as manager Kevin Cash’s top late-inning arms, and he’ll have to mix and match this weekend with Wisler, Jalen Beeks, Shawn Armstrong, Calvin Faucher, Ralph Garza Jr., Guerra and Sanders.

Guerra made six appearances for the Rays after they acquired him from the Padres in April, and he’s earned rave reviews since going down to Durham. The right-hander has a 1.29 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 21 innings in Triple-A. Sanders posted a 1.80 ERA over five outings for the Rays earlier this season, and he’s recorded a 3.60 ERA -- with 20 strikeouts and no walks -- in his last 12 outings for Durham.

The Rays figure to have more moves in store throughout this series. On Friday, they’re expected to reinstate center fielder Kevin Kiermaier from the injured list after a minimum stint due to left hip inflammation. Additionally, right-hander Drew Rasmussen (left hamstring strain) is likely to rejoin their rotation in the coming days.