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Chirinos earns promotion to Rays' starting 4

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is no longer a "Bullpen Day" starter for the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Saturday that the rookie right-hander is now a member of the starting rotation, with his first assignment coming in Sunday's series finale.

"I just think where he got built up with his pitch count, he's comfortable now that he can provide right around that 100-pitch count," Cash said. "We've been going back and forth with it. It's not the easiest thing in the world to build these guys up. ... I think we're in a better spot now with Yonny in the rotation. Right now, we've got him penciled in to pitch every fifth day for us when that spot comes up."

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is no longer a "Bullpen Day" starter for the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Saturday that the rookie right-hander is now a member of the starting rotation, with his first assignment coming in Sunday's series finale.

"I just think where he got built up with his pitch count, he's comfortable now that he can provide right around that 100-pitch count," Cash said. "We've been going back and forth with it. It's not the easiest thing in the world to build these guys up. ... I think we're in a better spot now with Yonny in the rotation. Right now, we've got him penciled in to pitch every fifth day for us when that spot comes up."

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The Rays' rotation in order is now as follows: Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Chirinos, Jake Faria, and "Bullpen Day."

Chirinos did not allow a run in his first three outings (14 1/3 innings), but he allowed six in 5 2/3 innings his last time out, against the Rangers.

Video: TB@CWS: Chirinos stifles White Sox over 5 1/3 innings

"I started off well, and that bad outing, all you can do is learn from it," Chirinos said, through Rays interpreter Manny Navarro. "I'm going to come out there prepared and hope for the best in my next start, then just learn from it. And always stay positive."

Cash felt as though Chirinos was "out of sync mechanically" in his last outing, but didn't sound worried about Chirinos getting back into the groove.

"Couldn't find the strike zone with his fastball -- the four-seamer or the two-seamer," Cash said. "With a bullpen session in between that he got the other day, he'll be good to go [Sunday]."

Worth noting
Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) took ground balls and ran in the outfield at 60 percent prior to Saturday night's game, and the Rays' third baseman said he had "no issues."

Video: TEX@TB: Duffy exits after awkward slide

Duffy felt tightness in his hamstring during Monday's game against the Rangers and went on the 10-day disabled list. Duffy is hopeful he'll be ready to be activated the first day he's eligible to come off the DL, Friday at Boston.

"I certainly think it's possible," Duffy said.

Cash said Duffy would not travel with the team on Sunday for the upcoming road trip, but he added, "I hope to see him at some point on the trip."

Nathan Eovaldi (10-day DL, loose bodies in right elbow) continues to make progress.

"Another good day," Cash said. "[Pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder] said his progress has been pretty remarkable. He said he'd almost compare it to a scraped elbow, and then coming back and throwing. He threw off the mound a little bit today, so he's probably as much on schedule if not ahead of it."

After Eovaldi had surgery to remove the loose bodies from his elbow, the timetable for his return was eight to 10 weeks.

Brandon Snyder cleared waivers and will accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. Snyder made two recent starts for the Rays before he was designated for assignment on Friday to make room on the 25-man roster for Brad Miller.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays