The Tampa Bay Rays activated righty Hunter Wood from the injured list, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, Austin Pruitt was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.
Wood gives the Rays another long option to soak up the innings left behind in the wake of Tyler Glasnow’s injury. Before hitting the injured list with shoulder soreness, Wood had yet to surrender a run in 6 1/3 innings, including a two-inning “start” as an opener. He threw three innings in his first appearance of the season, earning the save in a 5-1 win against the White Sox. Wood’s fastball clocked in at 94.3 mph in 41 innings last season, and the Rays hope to see some of that velocity return after averaging only 92.3 mph over his first four appearances, effective as he was over that span. Wood joins Yonny Chirinos, Jalen Beeks, Casey Sadler, and Ryne Stanek in the long man/opener mix for Tampa.
Pruitt had a rough go of it in a short stint with the big league club this year: 6 earned runs in only 7 1/3 innings with 8 hits and 2 home runs to only 4 strikeouts. Results haven’t been a whole lot better for the 29-year-old in in Triple-A this season either, where he sports a 6.23 ERA in seven appearances. Like Wood, Pruitt has the ability to throw multiple innings in a single go, and his FIP and xFIP numbers have been good the last two seasons, but the results have yet to show in the more public-facing ERA column. Wood provides more upside at this stage, but Pruitt is sure to return to Tampa at some point this season if he can stay healthy.
Meanwhile, the Rays had yet another catcher hit the deck. Rookie Anthony Bemboom will avoid surgery, but not the injured list, per Topkin (via Twitter). Manager Kevin Cash suggests Bemboom will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained ligament after only 5 plate appearances with Tampa. In his stead, Erik Kratz will become Blake Snell’s fourth different receiver in his last five starts, along with Bemboom, Mike Zunino, and Michael Perez, who is the closest of the three to returning from his oblique injury. Still, it’ll be Kratz and Travis d’Arnaud behind the dish for the next couple of weeks at the least.