Uh oh. Word comes from the Tampa Tribune’s Tony Fabrizio that the Rays have sent both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann back to St. Petersburg to be examined Monday by team orthopedist Dr. Koco Eaton.
“Both of them have been experiencing the same kind of posterior shoulder
soreness,” manager Joe Maddon told the Tribune. “Again we don’t think either rone
is a long term situation of any kind but we want to make sure before we
put them out there.”
Niemann had a start skipped this weekend, so it’s no surprise, but Davis’ issues are new. The rookie topped out at 158.2 innings last season for Triple-A Durham and has already reached 121.1 total frames this year in the big leagues. Perhaps he’s hitting a wall.
The Rays held Jeremy Hellickson back from his scheduled Sunday start at Triple-A and could call him up next week if either Davis or Niemann is forced to the disabled list. Hellickson threw seven innings of two-run ball in his major league debut against the Twins last week and would be a fine fill-in. But it’s not exactly an ideal time for a Wild Card-leading team to begin losing starters.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.