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Archer to be re-evaluated Monday after exit

Right-hander threw eight pitches vs. White Sox but feels better on Sunday
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- As Chris Archer walked off the mound after eight pitches in Saturday night's 5-4 loss to the White Sox with his head held down, things looked ominous. For now, though, Archer and the Rays are remaining optimistic about the right-hander's outlook.

Archer completed two at-bats against the White Sox on Saturday and allowed home runs to both batters. After throwing one pitch to the third hitter, he signaled toward the Rays' dugout, which brought manager Kevin Cash and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield to the mound. Archer left the game, which the Rays called a precautionary measure, with right lateral forearm tightness.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- As Chris Archer walked off the mound after eight pitches in Saturday night's 5-4 loss to the White Sox with his head held down, things looked ominous. For now, though, Archer and the Rays are remaining optimistic about the right-hander's outlook.

Archer completed two at-bats against the White Sox on Saturday and allowed home runs to both batters. After throwing one pitch to the third hitter, he signaled toward the Rays' dugout, which brought manager Kevin Cash and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield to the mound. Archer left the game, which the Rays called a precautionary measure, with right lateral forearm tightness.

Full Game Coverage

The 28-year-old right-hander is set to be re-evaluated by team physicians Monday morning and undergo further testing. Archer couldn't confirm if an MRI would be necessary. He did say on Sunday morning that he was feeling "definitely better than [Saturday]," even as some of the tightness on the outer part of his right forearm has persisted.

"I think, based off how I feel right now, I'm going to sleep fine [before Monday]," Archer said. "Last night wasn't the greatest, but when I woke up this morning, I don't feel any pain. I just feel a little tightness."

Archer posted quality starts in seven of his previous nine outings since the All-Star break before Saturday.

"For the first time in my life, it felt like it was better that I give the ball to someone else," Archer said. "Not only for my personal health, but for the team's sake."

Archer said he would speak further on Sunday with Porterfield, who expressed some optimism. The Rays' ace said that if Monday's evaluation shows no structural damage, he could begin playing catch and could even throw a bullpen session this week with hopes of making his next scheduled start in Boston.

"It's like Ron was saying last night," Archer said. "... 'Little things pop up. There's nothing to be concerned about.'"

Archer has not missed significant time due to injury at any point in his career, so concern about his health is relatively new for him. Alex Cobb, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and has dealt with some injuries himself, expressed confidence based off how Archer reacted to the potential injury.

"Just looking at his body language and his demeanor in talking to him, it doesn't seem like he's too worried about it," Cobb said. "That's your best indicator right now. When I've been injured in the past and I've known it, you don't want to be around me."

Bullpen additions officially join squad

The Rays officially recalled right-handers Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge from Triple-A Durham on Sunday, bringing the club's active roster to 30. Whitley had a 3.35 ERA in 34 appearances with Tampa Bay this season, while Kittredge made five appearances in the bigs and registered a 3.60 ERA.

"They can provide length, obviously," Cash said. "They're here. They're going to help our bullpen to mix and match. You see in September, teams have the benefit where if teams want to go batter to batter after the sixth inning, we could probably do the same thing. It provides depth and maybe some opportunities for some other guys to pitch a little earlier."

Plouffe set to return

The Rays are expected to designate left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek for assignment on Monday and purcahse the contract of veteran Trevor Plouffe from Durham. Kolarek, who allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning in Sunday's 6-2 loss to the White Sox, had a 6.48 ERA in 12 appearances this season.

The Rays designated Plouffe for assignment on Aug. 23 after he combined to hit .204 with a .600 OPS and eight homers in 89 games between the A's and Tampa Bay this season.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago who covered the Rays on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer