1:50PM: In preparation for the second half of the doubleheader, the Rays have optioned Sherriff back to Triple-A and activated left-hander Josh Fleming from the 10-day IL. Fleming will work as the bulk pitcher in the second game, behind opener Collin McHugh. After a right calf strain sent Fleming to the injured list on June 26, the southpaw will return after missing just slightly beyond the 10-day minimum.
9:22AM: The estimated recovery timeline is 2-3 weeks, Margot told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
8:47AM: The Rays have placed outfielder Manuel Margot on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain, the team announced. The placement is retroactive to July 6. Left-hander Ryan Sherriff was called up from Triple-A to take Margot’s roster spot, and the Rays also officially promoted star prospect Vidal Brujan as the 27th man for today’s doubleheader with the Indians.
Margot suffered his injury while legging out an infield single in the ninth inning of Monday’s game, a 9-8 Tampa Bay victory over Cleveland. It was a sour end to a 4-for-4 night for Margot, who is now hitting .252/.297/.404 with nine homers over 290 plate appearances in 2021. Since the Rays have an off-day tomorrow and the All-Star break is looming, Margot won’t miss much actual game time if his IL stint is a minimal one.
The 26-year-old Margot delivered some big hits during the Rays’ 2020 playoff run, though he generated slightly below-average (94 OPS+) offense over his two seasons with the Rays. While his bat has been inconsistent, Margot’s strong baserunning, defense, and ability to play all three outfield positions has made him a key contributor to Tampa’s roster. With Margot sidelined, Brandon Lowe might see more time in the outfield, joining the mix of Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier, Austin Meadows, and backup Brett Phillips. This would provide Brujan will more of an opportunity in the infield, though the Rays will continue to juggle their roster to give everyone playing time as warranted.