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Meadows placed on 10-day IL; Wendle returns

@juanctoribio
April 21, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays made a series of moves before Sunday’s 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Red Sox, but none that will make more of an impact than the club placing outfielder Austin Meadows on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain. Meadows hurt his thumb sliding

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays made a series of moves before Sunday’s 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Red Sox, but none that will make more of an impact than the club placing outfielder Austin Meadows on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain.

Meadows hurt his thumb sliding into third base on his two-RBI triple in the seventh inning on Saturday, but remained in the game and took another at-bat in the ninth inning of the 6-5 loss. Meadows, however, said that the thumb was sore when he woke up Sunday morning.

“Adrenaline was pumping,” Meadows said. “It was painful, but it was like ‘OK, I can play through this,’ but then I woke up today and I kind of hit a wall. It’s sore, but we’ll see.”

The Rays had Meadows go through an MRI last night, but the club will get a better sense of the damage once the outfielder sees a hand specialist on Sunday. Meadows said that the MRI showed some damage on the thumb and the next step will be to see if there’s any ligament damage.

“I’m not sure if it’s a ligament, that’s kind of what we’re looking at today, but it’s just a freak thing,” Meadows said. “They’re just kind of being cautious with it and making sure there’s no ligament damage, but we don’t really know right now.”

Meadows has played a key role in the Rays’ success this season, hitting .351/.422/.676 with six home runs, three stolen bases, 19 RBIs and a 1.097 OPS in 20 games. The 23-year old is coming off a week where he earned American League Player of the Week honors for the first time in his big league career, hitting .545 for the week with four home runs and 12 RBIs.

“I don’t know if you replace the player of the week,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “What he’s done for us has been pretty instrumental to us getting off to a hot start. Now we’re going to need some other guys to fill that void.

“I don’t know how long he’ll be out, but I know it’s going to be 10 days. There’s some swelling in there. We’ll let the hand specialist take a look and go from there.”

Meadows going on the injured list was just one of a couple of moves the Rays made Sunday. Tampa Bay reinstated Joey Wendle, who had been sidelined since April 1 with a left hamstring injury, and immediately slotted him in Sunday’s lineup, hitting fifth.

“He brings so much to us offensively, defensively, just the energy he provides,” Cash said about Wendle. “He’s a gamer. As much as any time this season, we need that. We got crummy news last night with Austin Meadows, but to get Joey back is a positive.”

With Meadows out of the lineup, the Rays could go with Brandon Lowe or Wendle at the top of the order against right-handed pitching.

“We’ll talk more about that after today,” Cash said.

The Rays also recalled Emilio Pagán and Andrew Velazquez, while optioning Jake Faria and placing reliever Hunter Wood on paternity leave.

Snell won’t pitch against Kansas City
When Blake Snell was placed on the injured list with a fractured right fourth toe, the hope was that the left-hander could make his return to the mound when he was eligible to do so this Wednesday against the Royals. But Cash said the left-hander won’t pitch against the Royals. Snell will throw his second bullpen session since the injury on Monday or Tuesday.

UMPS Care Charity Auction underway
Major League Baseball umpires will offer up more than 400 items, including priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences and VIP ticket packages. The auction is currently underway at mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, April 29.

Some of the items include signed baseballs, jerseys and bats from players such as Nolan Arenado, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki and former Rays player Ben Zobrist.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.