Dan Johnson’s game-tying homer Wednesday saved the Rays’ season, but it didn’t land him a spot on the playoff roster.
Instead the Rays opted to keep three catchers and utility man Elliot Johnson over Dan Johnson and Justin Ruggiano.
Jeff Niemann is also absent from the playoff roster despite going 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 23 starts and the Rays chose J.P. Howell over Cesar Ramos as a left-hander for the bullpen.
Tampa Bay also announced that Wade Davis, who started 29 games and logged 184 innings, will work out of the bullpen. Matt Moore, who’s been in the majors for two weeks, will start Game 1 against Texas.
The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”
Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.
If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.