Rays place LHP Sherriff on restricted list

April 3rd, 2021

The Rays placed left-handed reliever on the restricted list before Saturday’s series finale against the Marlins in Miami.

The Rays stated that Sherriff will “take some time away from the game” with the club’s full support and did not offer further details out of respect for Sherriff’s privacy. Manager Kevin Cash said he spoke with Sherriff on Saturday morning and that he did not have any sense of a potential timeframe for Sherriff’s return.

“We fully support Ryan, his thoughts,” Cash said. “I think it's best just to leave it at that.”

Sherriff, 30, earned a spot in Tampa Bay’s Opening Day bullpen after stepping into a relief role for the club down the stretch last season. The left-hander made 10 scoreless appearances from Aug. 26-Sept. 27 and pitched two scoreless innings in the World Series. He made his season debut in the Rays’ 6-4 win over the Marlins on Friday night, giving up consecutive run-scoring hits to Corey Dickerson and Miguel Rojas before finishing the seventh inning.

After unofficially making the Opening Day roster this week, Sherriff said he was “super grateful” and that the honor “means a lot to me” but noted several times he doesn’t define himself by his professional accomplishments as a baseball player. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018, Sherriff said, he felt like he accomplished a goal just by making it back to the big leagues with the Rays.

“I don't want baseball to define who I am once I'm done playing, and so for me to be happy internally is what I really look forward to -- and not get caught up in all the distractions and all the result-based stuff and all the stresses of making a team and stuff like that,” Sherriff said on March 29. “I just tried to be as level as possible and calm as possible with it.

“I was in the Minor Leagues for a very long time, unhappy, anxiety-ridden to perform all the time, and then it's just like, I got to a point where I just didn't want to live my life like that anymore. So I rewired my brain to be happy. I meditate every day. And I love this for me. It's great. It’s like manifestation on steroids for me.”

To fill Sherriff’s spot on their active and 40-man rosters, the Rays selected catcher off their traveling taxi squad. Tampa Bay could have selected a pitcher, as both Chris Mazza and David Hess are with the team in Miami, but preferred to have the extra position player available for Saturday night’s game at loanDepot park. The Rays entered the season with a 14-man pitching staff, so this move balances their roster with 13 hitters and 13 pitchers.

“It allows Joe Odom to get in there. He had a good spring for us, did some good things. We really like his catching ability,” Cash said. “He actually drove some balls really well. Gives us a little bit of a deeper lineup look and makes us, for maybe some late-inning changes, a little bit more available certainly in a National League game.”

Around the horn
• Outfielder Randy Arozarena, second baseman Brandon Lowe and first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo were out of the lineup on Saturday night, though they were all healthy and available off the bench. Mike Brosseau was in the starting lineup at second base, batting eighth, so the Rays gave at least one start to each of the 12 position players on their Opening Day roster during the first series of the season.

• Friday night was the first time the Rays won a road game after trailing by multiple runs through eight innings since Sept. 18, 2019, against the Dodgers. It was also the first time Tampa Bay hit a ninth-inning homer to turn a deficit into a lead since Travis d’Arnaud’s three-run shot off Aroldis Chapman on July 15, 2019.

• Outfielder Austin Meadows on Friday became the third player in Rays history to homer in each of the club’s first two games of the season, joining Evan Longoria (2010) and Elijah Dukes (2007).

• The Rays will travel from Miami to Boston on Sunday, an extraordinarily rare Sunday off-day in professional baseball. In fact, it will be just the second scheduled Sunday off-day in the franchise's 24-year history; the first came on Aug. 26, 2012, when Tropicana Field was being used for the Republican National Convention.