Richards likely to debut for Rays on Sunday

August 18th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Needing pitchers who are able to provide length, the Rays added right-hander to the taxi squad on Saturday.

The expectation is that Richards will be added to the active roster and start on Sunday against the Tigers. Reliever Peter Fairbanks was optioned to Triple-A Durham after Saturday's 1-0, 13-inning win over Detroit to make room on the 25-man roster.

Richards, who was acquired from the Marlins on July 31, went 3-12 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 appearances (20 starts) with Miami. He was sent to Durham to get built back up as a starter.

“It’s exciting,” Richards said of the new opportunity with the Rays. “Anytime you get a new situation, new scenario, it’s exciting, and I’m just happy to be here and look forward to it.”

In three starts with Durham, Richards pitched just 5 1/3 innings, including 2 1/3 on Aug. 10 and two scoreless innings on Wednesday. The Rays are still confident that the right-hander will be able to provide the bulk of the innings on Sunday due to his experience as a starter.

Richards said he’s ready to go “however long they need me.”

“He’s a guy that we’ve tried to quickly build back up, so I would imagine [we'll] look to get some bulk work out of him in some capacity,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

The 26-year-old mostly relies on a fastball-changeup combination. He has thrown the four-seam fastball 42.4 percent of time while relying on an above-average changeup at a 38.5 percent clip this season.

“The changeup is a big pitch for him, [and] it should complement our pitching staff pretty well,” Cash said. “We’re heavy fastball, heavy breaking ball; for a guy to come in and add that changeup look should be nice for us.”

Wendle and Lowe head to Port Charlotte
Infielders (right wrist inflammation) and (right shin bone bruise) played for Class A Advanced Charlotte on Saturday and are set to play for the Stone Crabs again on Sunday before being re-evaluated. Wendle went 1-for-4 and Lowe 0-for-3 on Saturday. Both will have an off-day on Monday, and Cash said that Wendle will likely head to Triple-A Durham after that to continue his rehab assignment. The next step for Lowe will depend on how he moves around on the field.