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Notes: Drake throws in simulated game

@juanctoribio
September 12, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay's bullpen dealt with a lot of injuries earlier in the season, but they could be getting one of their key arms back as Oliver Drake appears to be getting closer to his return. Drake, who has been on the injured list since Aug. 9 with

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay's bullpen dealt with a lot of injuries earlier in the season, but they could be getting one of their key arms back as Oliver Drake appears to be getting closer to his return.

Drake, who has been on the injured list since Aug. 9 with right biceps tendinitis, threw in a simulated game at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Saturday. And if all goes well during his next quick checkup, the Rays could have the right-hander back on the active roster during the upcoming two-game set against the Nationals.

“He threw an up-down,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “I do think we should be fairly confident that we’re going to see him in the Washington series.”

Having Drake would be a boost for a bullpen that has performed well despite the injuries. John Curtiss and Ryan Thompson have both filled in well, but having Drake gives the Rays another much-needed multi-inning reliever that is successful against left-handers.

Last season, left-handed bats had a .360 OPS against Drake, while right-handers finished at .865. In five appearances this season, Drake has found more success against righties, keeping them hitless over nine plate appearances.

Kiermaier update
Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was seen walking gingerly after making a sliding grab on Friday. The outfielder said that he felt some initial pain on the knee, but he was fine enough to walk it off and finish the game.

Cash said Kiermaier has been feeling general body soreness, and the team will try to stay away from him for the rest of the weekend. Kiermaier, however, is able to play in the later innings, if needed.

Rays acquire Gigliotti
The Rays acquired outfield prospect Michael Gigliotti from the Royals on Saturday, completing the deal for Stephen Woods Jr. Woods, who was a Rule 5 Draft pick, was retained by the Royals in July in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Gigliotti, 24, has hit six home runs in his Minor League career and has slashed .296/.392/.407 in 595 at-bats in the Minors.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.