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Wendle returns from right wrist fracture

Infielder plays second, short, singles in first game in nearly 2 months
@juanctoribio
June 15, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- After missing nearly two months with a right wrist fracture, Joey Wendle returned to the Rays' lineup on Friday, when the team activated the infielder from the 10-day injured list. The Rays optioned reliever Hunter Wood to Triple-A Durham to make room on the active roster. Wendle

ST. PETERSBURG -- After missing nearly two months with a right wrist fracture, Joey Wendle returned to the Rays' lineup on Friday, when the team activated the infielder from the 10-day injured list. The Rays optioned reliever Hunter Wood to Triple-A Durham to make room on the active roster.

Wendle batted seventh against Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney and played second base, shifting over to shortstop in the seventh inning during Tampa Bay's 9-4 victory. He finished 1-for-5.

“It’s exciting, that’s for sure,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said about getting Wendle back. “There are plenty of nights you always wish you had that extra left-handed bat, so Joey back there is going to be huge.”

During his rehab, Wendle spent time playing shortstop, and the Rays will utilize him there whenever it’s the best matchup or when Willy Adames needs a day off at the position. The versatility Wendle provides should give the Rays an added boost moving forward.

“He’s going to play a lot at second, short and third,” Cash said. “I don’t know which one he’s going to see most, but he’s certainly going to be in there quite a bit. We’re on a unique run with all the left-handed pitching that we’re facing. We have one today, one [Saturday] and forecasted to have two in New York, so we’ll see.

“We’re going to get guys in the game and off their feet to balance it out a little bit because we’ve been on a pretty heavy stretch of playing, but we’re comfortable with Joey playing anywhere on the infield.”

The Rays have suffered multiple injuries to their position players over the past two months. With Wendle back in the fold, this is the healthiest the team has been since the first couple of weeks of the season.

“Let’s keep it that way because it’s been a while, with the exception of [Matt Duffy], that we’ve had everybody playing and helping us win games,” Cash said. “So it’s really, really exciting to have Joey back.”

Rays sign top-rated Draft pick
The Rays came to an agreement with Texas high school pitcher JJ Goss, who was the 36th selection of the Draft and the second player picked by Tampa Bay. According to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Goss and the Rays agreed to a deal worth $2,045,400, which is the pick’s full slot value. Goss, a right-hander, was ranked as the No. 24 Draft prospect overall by MLB Pipeline.

The Rays have signed their first four selections of the Draft, with Goss joining UNC Wilmington shortstop Greg Jones (22nd overall), Campbell right-hander Seth Johnson (40th) and Texas A&M left-hander John Doxakis (61st). The Rays have now signed 23 of their 42 picks.

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