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Rays acquire Pedro Martinez (not that one)

Club honors Clemente; injury updates for Reed, Díaz, Zunino, Drake
@juanctoribio
September 10, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays acquired Pedro Martinez on Thursday. No, not that one. Martinez, a 19-year-old infielder, was acquired from the Cubs as one of the players to be named later in the deal that sent José Martínez to Chicago on Aug. 30. The Rays are still slated to

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays acquired Pedro Martinez on Thursday. No, not that one.

Martinez, a 19-year-old infielder, was acquired from the Cubs as one of the players to be named later in the deal that sent José Martínez to Chicago on Aug. 30. The Rays are still slated to get one more player or cash considerations over the next few months.

Tampa Bay's new infielder, who was added to the club’s 60-man player pool, was the Cubs’ No. 14 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline and is the No. 21 prospect in the Rays’ loaded system. Chicago signed Martinez out of Venezuela in 2018 for $300,000, and he projects as a second baseman or a shortstop.

Last season, Martinez slashed .311/.388/.437 with two home runs and 24 RBIs in 54 games between Rookie-level AZL Cubs and Class A Short-Season Eugene. Martinez, a switch-hitter, has a 55-grade hit tool, according to MLB Pipeline.

“We’re excited,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “Really young, and his first two seasons, he did some good things at the plate. Sounds like a pretty versatile guy who can play second, short, third. I believe he switch-hits, so add him to what we consider a very talented farm system and let him make progress on his own terms.”

Rays celebrate Roberto Clemente Day
Because the Rays were off on Wednesday, they celebrated Roberto Clemente Day on Thursday at Tropicana Field. In honor of Clemente, catcher Michael Perez and third-base coach Rodney Linares both wore No. 21 on Thursday.

Perez, who like Clemente is from Puerto Rico, said he has never had a chance to meet anybody in the Clemente family, but he said he heard stories of how passionately Clemente played the game. Linares, who is from the Dominican Republic, has a son who was born in Puerto Rico, and he said he grew up hearing a lot of great stories about Clemente, his father’s favorite player.

“It’s an honor,” Perez said in Spanish. “Roberto Clemente, for me and for us, is like Jackie Robinson. Just for everything he did and the legacy he left behind. I feel honored to wear No. 21 and to be able to represent him like this.”

Perez also added that he’s happy more players and coaches are opting to wear No. 21, and he said that he would ultimately like to see Major League Baseball consider retiring the number across the league.

Reed to the IL
Before Thursday’s game against the Red Sox, the Rays placed left-hander Cody Reed on the 10-day injured list with irritation in his left pinkie finger and recalled left-hander Ryan Sherriff from the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Reed last pitched on Saturday before leaving the game with the pinkie injury. The club is optimistic that Reed’s stint on the IL will be short.

“He’s done a good job of trying to keep his arm going,” Cash said. “He’s in good shape, good health -- it’s just we’re not going to throw him back out there without having all five of his fingers working the way that they should.”

Other notes
• Yandy Díaz still has soreness in his right hamstring area and there remains no timetable for his return. However, Cash said that the club still believes Díaz will be back in the lineup before the end of the regular season.

“I’m not going to say he ripped his hamstring, but there was a significant sign in there when he got checked out by the doctors,” Cash said. “We just have to be patient with him and hope this heals quicker than not.”

• Mike Zunino (left oblique strain) took light swings, played catch and did some running on Thursday, which was a “big step in the right direction,” according to Cash. Like Díaz, the Rays expect Zunino back before the end of the regular season.

• Reliever Oliver Drake threw a bullpen session at Tropicana Field on Thursday, and the expectation is still that the right-hander will rejoin Tampa Bay's bullpen over the weekend. Because Drake threw a bullpen session on Thursday, the activation likely won’t happen until Saturday or Sunday.

• Along with Martinez, the Rays added two other prospects -- right-hander Seth Johnson and shortstop Ford Proctor -- to the 60-man player pool. Each will report to the alternate training site.

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