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Rays swap in Phillips, Sherriff to WS roster

Hurlers Alvarado, Slegers dropped as TB goes with 13 pitchers
@juanctoribio
October 20, 2020

The Rays submitted their 28-man roster for the World Series on Tuesday, and it featured a couple of changes from their roster in the American League Championship Series against the Astros.

The Rays submitted their 28-man roster for the World Series on Tuesday, and it featured a couple of changes from their roster in the American League Championship Series against the Astros.

With two scheduled off-days during the World Series, the Rays will carry 13 pitchers against the Dodgers as opposed to the 14 they had on the roster during the ALCS. Left-hander José Alvarado was taken off the roster, allowing outfielder Brett Phillips to be added again, a move that was expected. With the addition of Phillips, Tampa Bay is going with 15 position players, seven of which are outfielders.

“With José, it’s been a trying season for him,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “I think if we had more time, we could probably get him in the zone a little bit more.”

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 20 LAD 8, TB 3 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 21 TB 6, LAD 4 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 23 LAD 6, TB 2 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 24 TB 8, LAD 7 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 25 LAD 4, TB 2 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 27 LAD 3, TB 1 Watch

Phillips will likely serve as a late-inning defensive replacement, and his speed in the outfield could be beneficial at Globe Life Park in Arlington, which has become known as a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Having Phillips on the roster also gives the Rays some insurance for Kevin Kiermaier, who is on the active roster but is still dealing with a right hand contusion after getting hit by a fastball in Game 3 of the ALCS on Oct. 13.

“He looked fine,” Cash said of Kiermaier. “Took a round of batting practice, took fly balls, so fine that I haven’t heard a word about it. … We need him out there. He wants to be out there really, really badly. I think with the off-days and the treatment, he’s in a good spot.”

The other roster move was a little surprising. Tampa Bay opted to replace right-hander Aaron Slegers, who has allowed one run in three appearances this postseason, with left-hander Ryan Sherriff.

On Monday, Cash hinted that the team will lean on left-handed relievers against L.A. slightly more than it did against the Astros and Yankees, who had heavy right-handed lineups. Sherriff didn’t allow a run in 10 appearances during the regular season and will get some opportunities against a Dodgers team that has plenty of left-handed hitters, such as Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy.

“Slegers was a really, really tough conversation,” Cash said. “He’s meant a lot to us. But I think now that we’re at a more normal postseason format with the off-days, having that length maybe becomes a little less important. [With] the left-handedness of their lineup, Sherriff is a guy that can go short, or if we need multiple ups from him, we can do that.”

Pitchers (13): RHP Nick Anderson, RHP Diego Castillo, RHP John Curtiss, RHP Pete Fairbanks, LHP Josh Fleming, RHP Tyler Glasnow, LHP Aaron Loup, LHP Shane McClanahan, RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Ryan Sherriff, LHP Blake Snell, RHP Ryan Thompson, LHP Ryan Yarbrough

Catchers (2): Mike Zunino, Michael Perez

Infielders (6): Willy Adames, Mike Brosseau, Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Díaz, Brandon Lowe, Joey Wendle

Outfielders (7): Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot, Austin Meadows, Brett Phillips, Hunter Renfroe, Yoshi Tsutsugo

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