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Yarbrough likely to fill in with Chirinos out

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- With Yonny Chirinos on the disabled list, Ryan Yarbrough appears to be the pitcher who will pick up the slack in his absence.

"I think he's the front runner to slot into that spot [in the rotation occupied by Chirinos]," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "... I think he'll be the guy to go forward. We'll hopefully get him built up to that."

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ST. PETERSBURG -- With Yonny Chirinos on the disabled list, Ryan Yarbrough appears to be the pitcher who will pick up the slack in his absence.

"I think he's the front runner to slot into that spot [in the rotation occupied by Chirinos]," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "... I think he'll be the guy to go forward. We'll hopefully get him built up to that."

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There are advantages to a pitcher knowing he'll be starting regularly. But Cash noted that the comfort a pitcher might receive from that knowledge could be overemphasized, particularly given the how the Rays have used their rotation with "bullpen days" this season.

"I know starters want to know they're starting," Cash said. "I respect that as much as anybody. But I also know that him being versatile, Yonny being versatile. Matt Andriese. Those guys being versatile in theory helps us win games and make decisions a little easier to come by with our in-game decisions when we're not labeling one guy as a starter. But I do think that we'll get to that point most likely with Yarbs, where he'll slide into the rotation for a couple of turns."

Video: TB@BOS: Chirinos strikes out Martinez swinging

Chirinos had an MRI Thursday morning, and the right-hander was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain, but there was no structural damage. He's expected to be out for about a month.

Prior to Tuesday night's game in Detroit, Chirinos was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain. Many times a "forearm strain" is the precursor to Tommy John surgery. But that won't be the case with Chirinos.

"The initial news was not good," Cash said. "But we probably got a sigh of relief knowing that it's not a long-term thing. We think it's more of a strain than anything. So shut him down for five, six, seven days. Whatever it is. Get him back throwing. Get him back built up and we'll see how it goes from there."

Chirinos told reporters that no injury is good news, but his job is to move forward and get ready.

"[The elbow] feels a lot better than it did when I first felt it," Chirinos said. "...From here it's just get it stronger and then rest it up until then. Let the inflammation go down then follow the doctor's and trainer's instructions for what I should do."

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Yarbrough