Things are moving and shaking with the Tampa Bay Rays as the month of August comes to a close.
That means even more chaos when it comes to roster moves as September marks the expansion of rosters from 26 to 28. Today, we were welcomed with a flurry of positive news that bodes well for the Rays moving forward.
To start, the biggest news on Friday was that starting pitcher Chris Archer is expected to be activated off the 60-day IL to start Sunday’s series finale against the Chicago White Sox.
Archer was placed on the 60-day IL on May 8 with forearm tightness and has been working his way back onto the big league roster.
He’s had several setbacks along the way, but after his most recent rehab stint in Triple-A Durham, the Rays and manager Kevin Cash have decided that it’s now time to welcome him back to MLB.
Along with Archer on the rehab trail, Pete Fairbanks will pitch at Durham on Sunday, starting his rehab assignment after being placed on the 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation on July 29.
The one bit of more unfortunate news is that right-hander Chris Ellis, who pitched during the Baltimore Orioles series and was promptly designated for assignment, was picked up by the Orioles on Friday.
That’s the second reliever the Rays have used in a multi-inning relief appearance in recent weeks and then DFA’d, but help is on the way on the IL.
The other significant news is that Nick Anderson, who has made four relief outings in Durham on his current rehab stint, is expected to be back on the big league roster in September.
He’s struggled in his last two outings with the Bulls, so he’ll be continuing to build his arm back up to what it was in 2019 and 2020. Expect him to hopefully be back in several weeks’ time.
We will see Chris Mazza back with the Rays for what we assume will be a few days, possibly just the White Sox series, as Dietrich Enns was optioned back to Durham for more fresh arms in the bullpen.
Manager Kevin Cash also said that Josh Fleming, who pitched well in the Orioles series earlier this week, will be available out of the bullpen this weekend, presumably as a long reliever.
We’ll update you as the season progresses with any more news to come out.