Keep track of the Rays’ recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.
June 14: Reinstated 1B Ji-Man Choi (left groin strain) from the 10-day IL
Choi had been out since June 2, a frustrating setback after he missed more than a month to begin the season following right knee surgery in late March. Choi tested out his strained groin and surgically repaired right knee in a pair of simulated games at the Rays’ extended spring training camp in Port Charlotte, Fla., over the weekend then officially rejoined the roster as the Rays began a three-game series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Choi immediately returned to the lineup, batting third against right-hander Lance Lynn. Manager Kevin Cash said the Rays are “confident that the groin is fully healed to where he can run out there and play pretty consistently.“
June 14: Optioned INF Mike Brosseau to Triple-A Durham
This was the somewhat surprising -- and “really, really tough,” as manager Kevin Cash put it -- corresponding move the Rays made to accommodate the return of first baseman Ji-Man Choi. “None of us feel good about it, because we know how much he means to our club as a player and in the clubhouse,” Cash said. Simply put, the Rays wanted to maintain their depth on the pitching staff, keeping 14 arms while sticking with 12 position players, and it made the most sense to option the versatile Brosseau. The Rays have not lost faith by any means in Brosseau, a popular teammate who hit the game-winning homer off Aroldis Chapman in Game 5 of the American League Division Series last year.
But Brosseau was off to a rough start, hitting .184/.259/.336 in 139 plate appearances this season, and the Rays have options around the infield with Joey Wendle, Taylor Walls, Brandon Lowe and Yandy Díaz all capable of playing multiple positions while Choi holds down first base. (It’s also worth noting that switch-hitting catcher Francisco Mejía did more work at first base on the day Brosseau was optioned. Expect to see Brosseau back at some point, but for now, he’ll join a prospect-rich Triple-A roster in Durham.
“We're trying to be really good. We've got a lot of guys that are probably deserving of big league opportunities in Durham right now,” Cash said. “And it's a 26-man roster. So some of those decisions are very challenging, but we're doing it to make sure that we are the best team as possible now and also have the best depth as possible. … I think now the opportunities will be that he can go get his timing at the plate, work on little things that he wants to work on and put [himself] in a position to where he can help us when his name's called.”
RHP Chris Archer (right lateral forearm tightness)
Expected return: TBD
Archer threw 10 pitches in a short bullpen session June 12 and will have two more weeks of side sessions, manager Kevin Cash said. The plan is to have Archer throw a live batting practice session at the end of June or in early July. (Last updated: June 12)
RHP Nick Anderson (right elbow sprain)
Expected return: Late July/early August
The Rays learned on March 25 that Anderson had sustained a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, at which point he was shut down from throwing for eight weeks. The initial medical recommendation was that Anderson did not require surgery, but his potential return was projected to be after the All-Star break and possibly into August. Manager Kevin Cash said Anderson is throwing “nice and easy” but is “still quite a ways away.” (Last updated: June 11)
RHP Oliver Drake (right flexor tendon strain)
Expected return: Midseason
Drake rejoined the Rays with the expectation that he would be rehabbing until midseason, and he’s also making progress. He threw his first bullpen session on the same day as Chaz Roe, and like Roe, his rehab progression will also take time. Even as Roe began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham, manager Kevin Cash said Drake has “got some time to wait.” (Last updated: June 11)
RHP Chaz Roe (right shoulder strain)
Expected return: Late June/early July
Roe began a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on June 3, two days later than expected, due to what manager Kevin Cash called “some shoulder crankiness.” It didn’t last long, however, and he has since made two appearances for Durham. He pitched one inning on June 3, then another inning on June 6. Roe will likely have an extended rehab assignment given the time he missed, and Cash said the Rays want to have him experience a schedule and workload similar to Tampa Bay’s healthy, active relievers. That could involve pitching consecutive days, working two games out of three, pitching one inning then starting the next, entering with runners on base then starting the next inning and more. “So he’s still got some time left with his rehab,” Cash said on June 8. (Last updated: June 8)
LHP Cody Reed (left thumb weakness)
Expected return: 2022 Spring Training
This is the third time since joining the Rays that Reed has dealt with weakness/numbness in his throwing hand, and this case led to Reed undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome decompression surgery on June 2. The operation was performed by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas, and it will sideline Reed -- who was already on the 60-day IL -- for the rest of the 2021 season. He is expected to return next spring. While the outcome was unfortunate for Reed in the short term, the Rays hope it brings the lefty reliever a much-needed sense of relief to finally identify and address the issue that has bothered him off and on for nearly a year. “Very optimistic that it’s going to help him get back on the mound quickly, and competing,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. (Last updated: June 2)