Injuries & Moves: Lopez recalled for Game 162 start

7:16 PM UTC


Oct. 10: Recalled LHP from Triple-A Durham; optioned RHP to Triple-A
The Rays are looking to manage their pitchers’ workloads and avoid exposing them too much to the Blue Jays, a potential Wild Card Series opponent, during the final series of the regular season. With that in mind, they called up Criswell to pitch three innings on Saturday then replaced him Sunday with Lopez, who started the Rays' regular-season finale.

Making room for Criswell forced the Rays to remove Erasmo Ramírez from their roster. The 33-year-old right-hander didn’t post great numbers with Tampa Bay, logging a 6.48 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP, but he helped cover 33 1/3 innings over 15 appearances after he joined the team in Houston on July 30. He pitched at least two innings in 10 of those outings, including a three-inning performance in which he allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out four in the Rays’ 11-4 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night.

"Odd situation, unfortunate, right down to the wire at the end of the season," manager Kevin Cash said. "But we've got to prioritize our innings. And the guys that pitch today, ideally, don't pitch tomorrow. So the thought behind that is, let's get Cooper up here where he can go through a chunk of the game."


10-day and 15-day IL

OF (fractured right hand)
Expected return: Possibly Wild Card Series
Siri went on the injured list on Sept. 12, a day after being hit by a pitch on his right hand in the fifth inning of a game against the Twins. He had follow-up imaging done on the hand on Sept. 21 and saw a doctor on Sept. 27, a visit that included even more imaging. Siri has resumed baseball activities and hit in the batting cage on Oct. 1, but the big test of his availability for the Wild Card Series will be how he fares in live batting practice on Oct. 2. (Last updated: Oct. 1)

OF (cervical strain)
Expected return: Possibly Wild Card Series
Raley was initially injured in a freak-accident collision with a staff member during pregame batting practice at Camden Yards on Sept. 16, as he landed on his head. That led to neck stiffness that sidelined him until Sept. 20, when he exited after one pinch-hit at-bat due to “dead arm”-type numbness in his left arm that turned out to be a nerve issue.

Raley was sent for an MRI on Sept. 21 and was placed on the 10-day IL on Sept. 22 (retroactive to Sept. 21). He received a cortisone injection on Sept. 22, at which point he was shut down from all activity for three days. Raley said he felt better on Sept. 24 and hoped the injection would take care of the swelling in his neck. He began light rehab work on Sept. 24 and vowed to do everything he can to rejoin the Rays for the postseason. Raley hit in the batting cage on Oct. 1 and is scheduled for live batting practice on Oct. 2, which will determine his availability for the postseason. (Last updated: Oct. 1)

2B  (right patella fracture)
Expected return: Possibly late October
Lowe fouled a pitch off his right kneecap in the seventh inning of the Rays' 5-4 win over the Angels on Sept. 21 and went down in obvious pain. Lowe finished the at-bat but exited the game later and was sent for additional imaging the next day. That revealed a right patella fracture, which manager Kevin Cash said would sideline Lowe for four to six weeks. The injury seems likely to end Lowe’s season, considering the end of that recovery range would extend through the playoffs, but it’s worth noting the Rays only placed him on the 10-day IL on Sept. 23. (Last updated: Sept. 23)

RHP  (left oblique strain)
Expected return: Possibly October
Fresh off the 15-day IL after missing three weeks due to a left oblique strain, Adam exited his first appearance back on Sept. 22 early due to a similar injury. He will miss at least the rest of the regular season, having felt more soreness in his oblique after the latest injury than the previous one he sustained, but he was "hopeful" for a postseason return. (Last updated: Sept. 23)

60-day IL

SS/OF (right hamstring strain)
Expected return: 2024
Jones had been in the Minors all season, but the Rays added him to the 40-man roster and placed him on the 60-day IL to clear a spot for the promotion of infielder Tristan Gray on Sept. 16. The speedy switch-hitter has been sidelined since late July, although he is said to be recovering well.

Jones might have been a pinch-running option in the postseason had he been healthy, but it seems unlikely Tampa Bay will call upon him when he's been out of game action for so long. (Last updated: Sept. 16)

LHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Likely 2025
McClanahan underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 21, his second time having the procedure. It was a huge blow to the Rays, as the ace left-hander is expected to miss the entire 2024 season. Manager Kevin Cash acknowledged beforehand it would be a "tough loss," but after McClanahan was evaluated by Dr. Keith Meister on Aug. 15, the club believes the surgery will give him his best chance at coming back strong. (Last updated: Aug. 22)

RHP (right flexor strain)
Expected return: Midseason 2024
Rasmussen went on the IL a day after tossing seven scoreless innings on May 11 in the Rays' 8-2 victory at Yankee Stadium. Manager Kevin Cash announced on July 8 that Rasmussen was slated to undergo a hybrid internal brace procedure, which will sideline him the rest of this year and until the middle of the 2024 campaign.

Rasmussen had the procedure as scheduled on July 24. (Last updated: July 25)

LHP (right knee sprain)
Expected return:
Cleavinger, who was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 12, was injured in the 10th inning of the Rays’ 8-7 win over the Yankees on May 7 after tumbling to the ground during a rundown along the third-base line. Cleavinger landed awkwardly and quickly gestured toward his knee in obvious pain.

Tampa Bay’s athletic training staff brought out a wheelchair to take him off the field, but the lefty declined the offer and attempted to throw a warmup pitch before walking into the dugout. He was diagnosed with a right ACL injury and underwent season-ending surgery on May 17 to repair his ACL and meniscus.

Cleavinger is expected to be ready for Spring Training next year. (Last updated: June 23)

LHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
When Springs exited his start on April 13 at Tropicana Field, the Rays initially announced his injury as ulnar neuritis in his left arm -- a nerve issue he described as feeling like “kind of a funny bone, kind of a shock, zinger kind of thing down the forearm” and hand.

Springs was evaluated by Rays team physician Dr. Koco Eaton, then received a second opinion from Dr. Keith Meister and transferred to the 60-day IL on April 22. Springs underwent successful Tommy John surgery on April 24, which will keep him out until next season. (Last updated: April 24)