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Here's the 5 players the Rays plan to call up

@juanctoribio
August 31, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- With rosters set to expand on Sunday, the Rays added their first wave of players, adding five to the taxi squad. First baseman Nate Lowe, catcher Michael Perez, infielder Daniel Robertson and relievers Pete Fairbanks and Hoby Milner will be activated before Sunday’s series finale against the

ST. PETERSBURG -- With rosters set to expand on Sunday, the Rays added their first wave of players, adding five to the taxi squad.

First baseman Nate Lowe, catcher Michael Perez, infielder Daniel Robertson and relievers Pete Fairbanks and Hoby Milner will be activated before Sunday’s series finale against the Indians.

The Rays are expected to be busy with September callups this month, with Guillermo Heredia, Brendan McKay, Tyler Glasnow, José Alvarado, José De León, Anthony Banda, Yonny Chirinos, Blake Snell and Aaron Slegers all potential additions to the roster this month.

Let’s take a look at what the role the first five callups will provide for the Rays, once activated on Sunday.

Nate Lowe
Lowe has already found success at the Major League level and has an American League Player of the Week award to his name already. The big left-handed bat has five home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games played with the Major League club this season.

The 2018 Rays Minor League Player of the Year will hit against right-handed pitching over the next month and will serve as the first baseman, designated hitter, and a potential late-game third baseman. Lowe will split playing time with Jesus Aguilar, Ji-Man Choi and Travis d’Arnaud at first base.

“He can certainly come in and provide a boost with his bat,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We’ll mix and match. Nate has played some third base, we’ll get some looks over here at him. [Triple-A manager Brady Williams] has been encouraged. He really turned it on offensively.”

Michael Perez
Perez gives the Rays even more flexibility as the team now has three capable Major League catchers who are familiar with the pitching staff. d’Arnaud and Mike Zunino have split the catching duties over the last couple of months, but Perez has Major League experience with the Rays, which will help Cash get creative in late-game situations.

Being the only left-handed hitting catcher on the team, Perez could earn some playing time against right-handed pitching. But his role will mostly be as another defensive catching option behind d’Arnaud and Zunino.

“Mikey did some good things down there,” Cash said. “He’s a Major League catcher. We’re fortunate that we have three guys that we can really count on, trust, late-game situation, pitch calling and doing the duties of the physical play of playing catcher also.”

Daniel Robertson
After a strong 2018 season, Robertson really struggled to get things going in '19. Before getting optioned to Durham and undergoing knee surgery in July, Robertson was hitting .202 with just two home runs after finishing last season with a .797 OPS.

While in Durham, Robertson said he began to have more fun playing baseball, which he began to lack at the beginning of the campaign as the struggles mounted. Robertson will give the Rays another late-inning defensive option in the infield and could draw a start against a left-handed pitcher down the stretch, if needed.

“With Robbie, his season has been a grind a little bit,” Cash said. “[He] certainly can help us out defensively and get some starts against left-handed pitching, if we see fit.”

Hoby Milner
Milner will be making his second stint with the Rays this season after recording 12 saves for Triple-A Durham this season. Milner is capable of retiring right-handed hitters, but specializes against left-handed hitters, and that will be his primary role with the big league club in September.

With Colin Poche being the only other left-hander in the bullpen, expect Milner to see plenty of action against left-handed hitters.

Pete Fairbanks
Fairbanks, who was acquired from Texas in July, will also be making his second stint with the Rays this season. The right-hander flashes a 100-mph fastball, which has produced a lot of strikeouts this season. In the Minor Leagues this season, Fairbanks recorded 70 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings.

“We walked about, we’re going to have kind of all hands on deck starting tomorrow,” Cash said. “Could be more guys coming. We’ll see how it all shakes out, but we’re going to be aggressive with our bullpen.”

Glasnow has successful first rehab outing
Glasnow pitched a scoreless inning on just eight pitches for Triple-A Durham on Friday in his first rehab outing since landing on the injured list with a mild right forearm strain on May 11.

Aside from the eight pitches in the game, Glasnow threw 12 more pitches in the bullpen after his outing and flashed 98 on the radar gun with the fastball. The right-hander is now scheduled to pitch two innings for Durham on Monday. If that’s successful, the Rays will begin discussions about possibly adding Glasnow to the active roster as a reliever.

“If [Monday] looks good, if he feels good, and everybody is in agreement, maybe slot him in four or five games later or whatever it is,” Cash said.

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