Rays lose a third veteran reliever to injury

MILWAUKEE — The Rays lost another veteran reliever to injury on Monday, with right-hander Chris Devenski sidelined for at least 15 days due to right knee tendinitis.

Devenski is the third proven member of the bullpen to be placed on the injured list over the last eight days, joining closer Pete Fairbanks (nerve-related issue) and top lefty Colin Poche (mid-back tightness).

Lefty Jacob Lopez, a starter at Triple-A Durham, was called up to take Devenski’s spot.

Manager Kevin Cash said losing the trio of relievers had a “large” impact on the bullpen.

“There’s no denying (that),” he said. “We still feel like we’ve got the guys that can certainly come in there and give us good innings with leads and preserve leads. But, yeah, we’re losing key guys that we had penciled in maybe a month ago to really make some strong contributions to the bullpen.”

Of the eight pitchers in the bullpen for Monday’s game, four started the season in the minors: Kevin Kelly, Lopez, Erasmo Ramirez and Manuel Rodriguez.

Devenski had a 7.71 ERA through nine appearances and said it’s possible the knee, which has been bothering him for about two weeks and “kind of flared up in Chicago (over the weekend) playing catch,” was a factor.

“I don’t want to make excuses or look for excuses or anything,” Devenski said. “The results haven’t been there. It’s just something that doesn’t feel good and I have to take care of it.”

Devenski is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday; he and Cash said they are optimistic he won’t be out long.

“I’ll go off the imaging and I’ll go from there, see what the best plan of attack is and go after it and get right and get better to help this team,” Devenski said.

MRI results on Josh Lowe ‘pretty good’

Cash said the Monday MRI of outfielder Josh Lowe’s tight right hamstring was “pretty good” and he would be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Lowe was expected to be activated Saturday in Chicago, having been out since spring training with left hip inflammation and then a right oblique strain. It’s possible he could be ready this weekend.

Cash also said that starter Taj Bradley came in feeling good Monday after a strong first rehab start with Durham on Sunday, throwing five no-hit innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. The hard-throwing right-hander has been sidelined since spring training by a pectoral muscle strain.

“That’s really encouraging. I don’t think we could ask for much more,” Cash said. “Happy for Taj, and that’s a good sign for us.”

Bradley will make another start for the Bulls on Friday, and a second good showing could have the Rays discussing bringing him up.

Right-hander Shane Baz, who has been recovering and rehabbing since September 2022 Tommy John surgery, threw in an extended spring game on Monday in Sarasota and is expected to move his rehab to Durham this weekend.


Tyler Alexander is the starter Tuesday, no opener. ... Catcher Ben Rortvedt, who grew up an hour from Milwaukee in Verona, Wisconsin, said he’d have “20-plus-ish” relatives and friends at each game, including his mom, Kim, whose birthday is Wednesday. ... In advance of wearing their just unveiled City Connect uniforms for the first time this weekend, the Rays will host a celebration event at the St. Pete Pier on Thursday from 5-10 p.m. with player appearances, live music, a skateboarding demonstration, interactive games, food trucks, photo stations and a drone show that will display the uniform logos in the sky. ... In getting on base in all six plate appearances Saturday and his first two Sunday, Richie Palacios became the first Ray to do so in eight straight since David Peralta in August 2022.

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