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Savvy Silverman helps Rays overcome injuries

ST. PETERSBURG -- Friday's activation of left-hander Drew Smyly and first baseman James Loney from the disabled list trimmed the DL from a club-record 12 players to 10.

The Rays have placed 12 players on the DL already this season, which according to Stats LLC, is the second-highest total by the end of April in the last 20 years, behind the 2014 Rangers (13).

Matt Silverman, president of baseball operations, has had an indoctrination by fire since taking over from Andrew Friedman in October. First there were the many offseason moves and a search for a new manager. Once the season started he's had to deal with keeping 25 able bodies on the roster.

Video: [email protected]: Smyly strikes out five in season debut

The Rays began Sunday's action tied for first place in the American League East, so Silverman has obviously done a pretty nice job of filling holes while regular players are away. Silverman deflected any attention in his direction by crediting those he works with for making things work.

"There's been constant dialogue in baseball operations," Silverman said. "Planning for different contingencies. We're being tested early with the rash of injuries that we've experienced. We're calling upon our depth. And making sure that we know what moves we can make in advance."

And what has the former team president learned thus far?

"I continue to learn that we have a great group of people who know exactly what they're doing," Silverman said. 'It's a discipline that's been instilled for years and we're just continuing the process."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, James Loney, Drew Smyly