Alvarado (shoulder inflammation) put on IL
Before Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays, the Rays placed left-hander José Alvarado on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation and recalled right-hander Aaron Slegers from the taxi squad.
Alvarado has a 6.00 ERA in nine appearances this season, but most of the damage off the left-hander occurred on Friday against the Blue Jays. Alvarado walked two and allowed four runs over two-thirds of an inning.
It’s unclear when Alvarado started feeling the shoulder discomfort.
Placing Alvarado on the injured list is yet another blow to the Rays’ bullpen. Tampa Bay lost Andrew Kittredge for the season with a right UCL sprain earlier this week, and right-hander Oliver Drake is still on the injured list with right biceps tendinitis and isn’t scheduled to begin throwing until next week. The Rays are also without Colin Poche, who underwent Tommy John surgery just days before the start of the season.
With Alvarado sidelined, the Rays will likely rely more on Aaron Loup and Jalen Beeks against left-handed pitching. Diego Castillo, Nick Anderson and Chaz Roe have been used a lot over the last two weeks, and that’s expected to continue as the injuries pile up.
Slegers, who allowed five earned runs over two-plus innings in his first outing against Boston on Wednesday, will be available to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen, if needed.
Charlie Morton is another Rays pitcher currently on the IL, but the club is still optimistic that the right-hander will be available to rejoin the rotation in a few days. According to Rays manager Kevin Cash, Morton threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Saturday at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla.
“It went well,” Cash said. “He’s going to play normal catch the next two days and then probably get him off the mound on Tuesday. That’s the plan, and then we’ll see where we go from there.”
Cash also added that the club is still optimistic that Morton could return to the rotation when he’s eligible to return from the injured list on Aug. 20. If not, Morton could be back during the upcoming homestand, which begins on Aug. 21.
Yonny Chirinos and the Rays wrap up a three-game set against the Blue Jays on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. ET at Sahlen Field. Chirinos, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with right triceps inflammation, is expected to have a pitch limit in his first start off the IL. The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Matt Shoemaker. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Sun and MLB.TV.