After an absence of more than a month the Tampa Bay Rays have activated starter Chris Archer.
Archer went down in early June with an abdominal strain. When he went down he was sporting a 4.24 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/26 in 76.1 innings. Archer will now rejoin Blake Snell, Nate Eovaldi and the revolving cast of relievers in the Rays rotation.
Given the rumors which have swirled since the beginning if the season, one has to think that his next several starts will serve as an audition of sorts for would-be trade partners. Despite the injury, Archer is under team control through 2021, in part via team options, making him a very affordable front line starter which could net a nice return for the Rays who are perpetually in talent-collection mode and, being fair, probably should be given the place the Yankees and Red Sox are in the division at the moment.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.