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Injury updates: Archer, Kiermaier, Hechavarria

Righty plays catch; outfielder, shortstop nearing rehab assignments
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- All of Friday's news was good for several Rays players who are on the disabled list dealing with different injuries.

Front and center was Chris Archer, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a left-abdominal strain on Tuesday. The right-hander played catch on Thursday and Friday and told reporters he felt pretty good. He will throw a side session on Saturday.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- All of Friday's news was good for several Rays players who are on the disabled list dealing with different injuries.

Front and center was Chris Archer, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a left-abdominal strain on Tuesday. The right-hander played catch on Thursday and Friday and told reporters he felt pretty good. He will throw a side session on Saturday.

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"If that goes good, on Tuesday we'll most likely set up some kind of [simulated] game, live [batting practice] for him to get some up-down work," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It's tough to get too far advanced on Arch. We have to see how he responds after every box he checks."

Cash said he was hopeful Archer won't have to go on a rehab assignment.

"He's only been shut down throwing for a couple of days," Cash said. "There's a chance he throws a bullpen, then throws a live sim, and then maybe we're talking about putting him back in the rotation. I hope he's not going to rehab."

Video: TB@SEA: Rays turn a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP

Meanwhile, Kevin Kiermaier (torn ligament in his right thumb) and Adeiny Hechavarria (right hamstring strain), could both be seen running around and taking part in a myriad of activities prior to batting practice.

"I think they're both on the right track," Cash said. "I think K.K. is ahead of schedule, but I don't want to get too far ahead to speculate. I know if he has a couple of more good days, we're going to talk about him going to play for [Class A Advanced] Port Charlotte in Dunedin on Tuesday. We have to get through the weekend first, see how he responds. Today he ran bases, he hit live against the velo machine, and he'll do some more, throw to the bases tomorrow. All good from that standpoint."

Video: TB@CWS: Kiermaier runs down ball, jumps for the catch

When Kiermaier was asked about when he might return, he told reporters "June 20ish." He is eligible to come off the DL on June 15.

"As far as Hech goes, he's kind of in the same boat [as Kiermaier]," Cash said. "I think he could be starting Monday for Port Charlotte."

Rays ink second-rounder Frank to deal
On Friday, the Rays signed their second-round pick (56th overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft, Florida Atlantic shortstop Tyler Frank.

• Rays Draft Tracker

Frank was a first-team All-Conference USA selection and also the league's defensive player of the year. This season, as a junior, he was second on the team with 13 home runs and third in batting average (.307). He also finished with a team-high 68 runs scored.

Video: SEA@TB: Rays scouting director discusses MLB Draft

"I'm happy to be a Ray and excited to get out there," said Frank, who was at Friday night's game against the Mariners at Tropicana Field.

Frank said he wasn't surprised he was selected by the Rays, as they've "kind of been there the whole season."

"I'm just glad they picked me," Frank said.

Frank said he wanted to sign quickly, so he could get into the Rays system and begin on the road he hopes will lead to the Major Leagues.

"The quicker the better," Frank said. "Get my professional career started and get going."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays