Yarbrough has made a team-leading seven starts, and his performance in Tampa Bay's 2-0 win against the Marlins on Friday was his best work of the season. Yarbrough tossed 6 2/3 scoreless frames, but he exited the game after complaining of a groin issue that he has dealt with over the last couple of starts.
The Rays hope that Yarbrough’s stint on the injured list is minimal, and there’s optimism that the left-hander could be ready to rejoin the rotation as soon as he’s eligible to on Sept. 7.
“We need to do everything we can to keep him healthy,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’re optimistic that we can shut him down, he can take the time to continue his throwing but while getting a heavy dose of treatment on his groin, and hopefully it’s a one-start thing where he comes right back in, slots in and doesn’t lack any buildup.”
Zunino’s recovery, on the other hand, is a little bit more uncertain. The Rays' catcher was a late scratch on Friday after he experienced left oblique discomfort during his round of batting practice. Zunino, who had a lengthy absence with the injury in 2018, said that he’s optimistic about his return because it doesn’t feel as severe as the last time he dealt with the injury.
“I was just trying to be proactive with it,” Zunino said. “I brought it up to the trainers and wanted to stay ahead of this thing as the season is becoming more and more limited on time.”
Zunino, who hit .250 with two doubles and two home runs in his last six games, will stay with the team in Miami over the next few days, but he will continue his rehab at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla. Kevan Smith had his contract selected and will replace Zunino on the active roster.
Cash said that he expects Michael Perez and Smith to split time behind the plate and that the club will continue to play the best matchup. Perez started and hit ninth for the Rays on Saturday, and Smith is expected to start on Sunday.
Roe’s season-ending injury
Roe has been on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Aug. 20, but the right-hander felt some discomfort on his throwing arm during a flat-ground throwing session on Friday. Roe told trainers that he felt something off, especially when he threw his signature slider.
Tests showed that Roe’s injury isn’t related to any ligament damage, which is good news for Roe and the Rays, but the club believed that the best course of action was to let him rest and recover. Roe became the sixth Rays pitcher to have a season-ending injury, following Jalen Beeks, Yonny Chirinos, Andrew Kittredge, Brendan McKay and Colin Poche.
“It’s tough and disappointing,” Cash said. “It’s very unfortunate because Chaz has been a staple in our bullpen for three years now and he’s been able to get big outs time after time. He’s going to be missed.”
• Beeks is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Dr. Keith Meister will perform the surgery in Arlington.
• The Rays added first baseman/outfielder Brian O'Grady to the active roster, replacing Yarbrough.
• Charlie Morton, Oliver Drake and Nick Anderson continue their individual rehab assignments and the Rays are optimistic to have the three pitchers back soon. Morton could be back in the club's next series against the Yankees, while Drake and Anderson could be ready at some point during the upcoming homestand, which begins Friday.