Rays righty Roe lands on IL with sore elbow

Fleming primed for MLB debut; updates on Morton, Drake

August 22nd, 2020

The Rays placed right-handed reliever on the 10-day injured list with right elbow soreness prior to their game against the Blue Jays on Saturday. The move is retroactive to Thursday.

Tampa Bay selected left-hander from its alternate training site to replace Roe on the active roster. Right-hander , who will undergo Tommy John surgery on Monday in Tampa, was transferred to the 45-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster.

Manager Kevin Cash said Roe’s injury “came out of nowhere,” but he was encouraged by the news that the elbow doesn’t appear to have endured any structural damage.

“We’ll shut him down for a couple days and let him get some treatment, and then try to build him up pretty quick,” Cash said. “As long as he's feeling good, not let him miss too much time.”

Roe, 33, has appeared in 10 games this season, recording a 2.89 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He last pitched on Wednesday, walking two while recording one out in the Rays’ win over the Yankees. He also pitched one inning in Tuesday’s game in New York.

Cash said Roe felt fine when the team landed in Tampa on Thursday night, but when he woke up the next morning, he felt soreness in the elbow.

Fleming: Callup 'pretty surreal'
When left-hander makes his Major League debut on Sunday -- starting in the series finale vs. Toronto -- his parents, Mike and Lori, and his fiancé, Katie, will be there -- sort of.

Like many families of players debuting in 2020, Fleming’s loved ones will be in the general area of where he’s pitching, they just won’t be inside the actual ballpark. Fleming said they’re flying in from Columbia, Ill. -- located about 12 miles south of St. Louis -- and will watch the game from either a restaurant or the hotel.

Fleming’s first call when he received the news of his promotion was to his dad, who was “very emotional,” Fleming said. “I could just tell in his voice that he was super proud and happy.”

Fleming then called his mom, who was at work.

“She had a little scream,” he recalled. “I could tell she was tearing up for sure.”

Fleming was at the club’s alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla., when Minor League field coordinator Michael Johns delivered the news of the callup. Johns gathered the team together, pretended to tell a story about Fleming’s ascent through the organization, and ended it with, “and on Sunday, he’s starting for the big league team.”

“Everyone kind of stormed me,” Fleming said.

(Fun fact: Fleming attended college at Webster University in St. Louis, and their nickname is the Gorloks. Their mascot is an animal that has, according to Fleming, “the face of a St. Bernard dog, the horns of a buffalo and the legs of a cheetah.”)

Renfroe redux
Commenting on ’s acrobatic pirouette over a short wall on Friday while catching a tailing fly ball, Cash said the play reminded him more of something he’d see at the NFL Combine than in a baseball game.

As it turns out, Renfroe’s former life as a high school football player may have helped him both complete the play and physically survive it.

Renfroe played quarterback and safety as a prep and had a couple of opportunities to play college football, but he opted to go the baseball route.

“I felt like [football] was not the best idea, because those guys are really fast, really big and really strong,” he said. “So I decided to play baseball.”

Renfroe’s quick moves on Friday allowed for him to turn his back just before he crashed against a padded wall, located beyond the one he jumped over. He said his forearm actually took the brunt of the force.

“But it’s good,” he said. “It ain’t broke.”

Morton, Drake on the mend
Cash had encouraging news on two rehabbing pitchers -- right-handed reliever (right biceps tendinitis) played catch on Saturday and continues to build strength, and right-handed starter (right shoulder inflammation) will have a long-toss session on Sunday.

“If we keep kind of checking those boxes, we'll get them back on the mound here soon,” Cash said.

Morton is anxious to test his arm by throwing off the mound, which he hopes will happen soon.

“It's kind of a catch-22 -- it's like you need to step on it, to get a good idea where you are, but really getting after it at higher intensity puts you a little bit more risk,” the 36-year-old said. “And we're getting to that part of the season here where you really don't want any setbacks. Just trying to be smart."