Injuries & Moves: LaSorsa called up; Kelley optioned
May 28: Selected LHP Joe LaSorsa from Triple-A Durham; optioned RHP Trevor Kelley to Triple-A; designated RHP Chris Muller for assignment
As the Rays continued their bullpen shuffle, LaSorsa received his first call to the big leagues on Sunday morning to provide a fresh arm behind starter Josh Fleming. The lefty has pitched in a variety of roles for Triple-A Durham this season -- starting, opening, working late-inning relief, pitching as a bulk-innings arm and even serving as a left-handed specialist -- after memorably pitching for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic this spring.
LaSorsa said he received news of his promotion during Durham's game on Saturday. Scheduled to start, he said he was informed only hours before first pitch that he should "just sit tight." Midway through the game, the bullpen phone rang and LaSorsa was told to take his things to the dugout. Between innings, Triple-A manager Michael Johns told the team, "There's probably a better way to do this, but LaSorsa's going to The Show." LaSorsa flew in Sunday morning and reported to Tropicana Field for the 11:35 a.m. ET game, and his family was en route from New York to potentially see the 25-year-old's Major League debut.
Kelley was sent back to Durham after giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in eight innings over five appearances, including a two-inning outing against the Dodgers on Saturday. Muller, who was designated for assignment to make room for LaSorsa on the 40-man roster, was called up on May 12 and optioned to Triple-A on May 15 without having pitched.
May 27: RHP Tyler Glasnow reinstated from the 15-day IL; RHP Cooper Criswell optioned to Triple-A Durham
As expected, Glasnow was activated to make his season debut against the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field. It was his first Major League appearance since a scoreless five-inning start in Game 2 of the American League Wild Card Series in Cleveland last Oct. 8. The big right-hander had been sidelined since early Spring Training due to a Grade 2 left oblique strain, but he breezed through a six-inning rehab start on 67 pitches for Durham last Sunday. He pitched 4 1/3 innings of three-run ball and struck out eight in the Rays' 6-5 loss to Los Angeles.
Criswell pitched four innings of one-run ball in the Rays' 9-3 win over the Dodgers on Friday night. He returned to Triple-A, where he will continue to serve as starting/bulk-inning depth.
May 26: RHP Zack Burdi claimed off waivers by Dodgers
Burdi was designated for assignment on Wednesday, a day after he allowed six runs (five earned) during a 36-pitch fifth inning in the Rays' 20-1 loss to the Blue Jays. Burdi made two scoreless appearances for Tampa Bay in April.
10-day and 15-day IL
RHP Zack Littell (right shoulder fatigue)
Expected return: TBD
Claimed off waivers on May 12 and added to the roster on May 14, Littell pitched four times for the Rays before landing on the IL on May 24 due to what manager Kevin Cash described as a "cranky shoulder and not something that we want to push through at this moment." (Last updated: May 24)
RHP Shawn Armstrong (neck tightness)
Expected return: Likely June
Armstrong did not appear in a Spring Training game due to an unspecified neck injury. The club classified his injury only as neck tightness on his right side when he was placed on the injured list to begin the season. Armstrong began a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on May 16 and made his third appearance on May 21, but he is not eligible to come off the IL until May 29. (Last updated: May 21)
LHP Garrett Cleavinger (right knee sprain)
Expected return: 2024
Cleavinger, who was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 12, was injured in the 10th inning of the Rays’ 8-7 win over the Yankees on May 7 after tumbling to the ground during a rundown along the third-base line. Cleavinger landed awkwardly and quickly gestured toward his knee in obvious pain. Tampa Bay’s athletic training staff brought out a wheelchair to take him off the field, but the lefty declined the offer and attempted to throw a warmup pitch before walking into the dugout. He was diagnosed with a right ACL injury that likely will sideline him for the rest of the 2023 season. (Last updated: May 12)
RHP Drew Rasmussen (right flexor strain)
Expected return: Late August/early September
Rasmussen went on the IL a day after tossing seven scoreless innings in the Rays' 8-2 victory at Yankee Stadium. He said he believes he will avoid his third Tommy John surgery and will be back after the All-Star break. (Last updated: May 12)
LHP Jeffrey Springs (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2024
When Springs exited his start on April 13 at Tropicana Field, the Rays initially announced his injury as ulnar neuritis in his left arm -- a nerve issue he described as feeling like “kind of a funny bone, kind of a shock, zinger kind of thing down the forearm” and hand. He was evaluated by Rays team physician Dr. Koco Eaton then received a second opinion from Dr. Keith Meister and transferred to the 60-day IL on April 22. Springs underwent successful Tommy John surgery on April 24, which will keep him out until next season. (Last updated: April 24)
RHP Shane Baz (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2024
Baz, who underwent Tommy John surgery on Sept. 28 and will miss all of this season, has enjoyed a smooth rehabilitation process so far. He began playing catch near the end of March and was throwing on flat ground from 60 feet as of April 13, when he was transferred to the 60-day IL. (Last updated: April 13)
RHP Andrew Kittredge (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: July 2023
Kittredge underwent Tommy John surgery on June 22. That will knock out the valuable right-hander for at least the first half of the 2023 season. The '21 All-Star was placed on the 60-day injured list on March 15 to make room on the 40-man roster for reliever Trevor Kelley and is playing catch up to 150 feet. (Last updated: March 25)