Kiermaier rejoins Rays; Mazza optioned

April 17th, 2021

The Rays reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Saturday afternoon, welcoming back their center fielder who has missed all but four games so far this season with a strained left quad.

Prior to Saturday’s 6-3 win against the Yankees, Kiermaier saw 20-30 pitches in a simulation game, with , a pitcher on the taxi squad, throwing off the mound at Yankee Stadium. Rays manager Kevin Cash said the idea was to “see if we can speed up [Kiermaier’s] timing.”

Friday was the first day Kiermaier was eligible to come off the IL, and he took batting practice before the Rays’ 8-2 win over New York. The three-time American League Gold Glove Award winner said previously that the timeline of his reinstatement would depend on how he feels while sprinting at 100 percent effort.

Kiermaier appeared as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the eighth inning, fielding a Brett Gardner liner with no apparent issues for the second out of the frame. He did not have an at-bat.

In a corresponding move, the Rays optioned right-hander to the alternate training site. Mazza, in his first season with the Rays, has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs while striking out only three in four relief outings (11.74 ERA).