The Rays announced several roster moves this morning (MLB.com’s Juan Toribio was among those to tweet the full list), including the news that Manuel Margot has been activated from the COVID-19 injury list. The club also selected the contract of right-hander John Curtiss from its alternate training camp, and also called righty Ryan Thompson back up to the MLB roster. To create room, Oliver Drake has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right biceps tendinitis, while left-hander Sean Gilmartin and catcher Kevan Smith have been designated for assignment.
Margot’s placement on the COVID list as a matter of procedure, as he was away from the club for personal reasons and had to undergo mandatory intake screening upon returning. Thompson is also “back” with the team in pretty short order, as he started yesterday’s game against the Yankees and was then optioned to the minor league training grounds. Continuing the trend of rapid-fire Rays transactions, Gilmartin’s contract was only selected two days ago, and he recorded one appearance of 3 1/3 innings (giving up three runs in an 8-4 loss to the Yankees in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader) before being sent into DFA limbo.
Smith was also a pretty new entry to the roster, as the Rays selected his contract back on July 30. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that the Rays would ideally like to retain both Gilmartin and Smith if they aren’t claimed on waivers by another team.
Drake pitched the final inning of the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, and now has a 3.38 ERA in 5 1/3 innings this season. The well-traveled Drake has seemingly found some stability in Tampa Bay, with a 3.23 ERA, 3.36 K/BB rate, and 10.9 K/9 over 61 1/3 relief innings since the Rays acquired him prior to the 2019 season.
Curtiss signed a minor league deal with Tampa during the offseason and is now on pace to appear in his fourth big league season. The right-hander has a 6.75 ERA over 17 1/3 career innings scattered across the 2017-19 seasons, as a member of the Twins and Angels. Curtiss was also briefly in the Phillies organization last season but didn’t receive any MLB playing time.