Font placed on DL with right lat strain

Righty expected to be out 'a little while,' says Cash

June 30th, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- had an MRI Saturday morning that confirmed the bad news about his right lat, which he strained in Friday night's start against the Astros.

Font was placed on the 10-day disabled list and right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Durham.

"He's going to be out a little while," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We're going to be optimistic -- eight weeks, something like that. But he got his lat pretty good. We're going to miss him.

"It's really unfortunate, given the way he's thrown the ball and how he's kind of turned around his own personal season. But we'll do everything we can to get him healthy. Get him back on the mound and build him up."

Font earned his second win of the season Friday night, moving to 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA in nine appearances with the Rays, compared to 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA in 10 appearances with the A's and Dodgers before Tampa Bay acquired him in a May 25 trade with Oakland. The Rays moved him over to the third-base side of the rubber, and the adjustment seemingly worked wonders.

Font told reporters it was the first time he's had such an injury and that he was disappointed with the news. The righty had been built up to be a starter, which helped compile some innings -- particularly important, given the Rays' heavy use of their bullpen. Cash said he did not know just yet what the team would do without Font.

"Right now, I would say that we'll piece it together," Cash said. "We're hopeful that [Chris Archer] will be back sooner than later. With no setbacks, he's probably got a start or two. And then we'll go from there. But it's definitely not fun, it's not easy to add another bullpen day, or three-inning performance, clump together. We'll just see how it shakes out. But right now, I don't think there's a starting pitcher that we're getting ready to bring up from Durham."

• Archer on track for rehab start Tuesday

Wood is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 24 appearances for Durham, and is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in one appearance with the Rays this season.

Cash noted that Wood has been "throwing the ball really well" and that, in theory, he'll be able to give the Rays three innings or 40 pitches.

"Provide a little length," Cash said. "Our Triple-A staff noted that there's been some improvement. The pitch mix has been really good. Fastball's coming out pretty crisp. We have not seen Hunter Wood at his very best at this level. But the Durham staff certainly has at different spurts.

"Last year, when you talked to [Durham manager] Jared Sandberg at the end of the year during that playoff run, I think he might have been the most trusted reliever he had in the bullpen. So hopefully he's coming here on a pretty good note and we can put him to work and get some big outs."