Rays lose Perez to DL, Moore recalled

Smith to begin rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Charlotte

August 31st, 2018

CLEVELAND -- Michael Perez may not be playing much baseball in September.

The newly acquired rookie catcher was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, with a left hamstring strain, the Rays announced Friday, ahead of their series opener against the Indians at Progressive Field. Catcher was recalled from Triple-A Durham.

Perez has been out since Tuesday's 9-5 loss against the Braves and sustained the injury in the eighth inning, after a slide from at the plate clipped Perez.

"It's unfortunate," manager Kevin Cash said. "The surprise was the play at the plate strained it. We didn't know until the next day. We really didn't have any symptoms after or the next day when he came in. [Perez] came in the next day and was pretty sore. We were gonna take him out there and do some drill stuff, normal stuff on an off-day, and he went down to squat and it just wasn't happening."

Though a timetable for Perez's return is uncertain, Cash said he remains optimistic the ailment may only keep Perez out of the lineup for the minimum 10 days allowed. Perez, however, was told by trainers he could miss up to two to three weeks, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

"We'll see how he responds," Cash said. "This is a guy we haven't had an injury history with, so we'll see how [the] training staff works with him. Much better it be a strain than a knee thing, an ankle or something significant."

Perez was acquired from the D-backs on July 25 in the trade that sent over , and made his Major League debut the next day. In 24 games with the Rays, he's hitting .284/.304/.392. Moore, 34, has appeared in two games with the Rays this season, and is hitting .219 with a .607 OPS in 58 games with the Bulls.

"It won't change anything when he gets back," Cash said of Perez's playing time. "He's done just an outstanding job for us offensively and definitely defensively."

Worth noting

The club also announced outfielder (viral infection) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Charlotte on Saturday, and will play nine innings in right field. Smith was placed on the 10-day DL on Saturday and was hospitalized after contracting the illness, but was released Tuesday.

A return date has not yet been determined, but despite the setback Smith, in his third season, is still enjoying his best year since joining the big leagues. The 25-year-old has already played a career-high 116 games, eclipsing his 81 games played in '17. Smith is also hitting .307/.377/.433, has 27 stolen bases and leads the American League with nine triples.

"We'll see how he feels," Cash said. "We might have him back real quick."