Rays to shuffle rotation with Ryan Pepiot ‘likely’ headed to injured list

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will shuffle their rotation going into the weekend series against the Yankees, with Ryan Pepiot “likely” headed to the injured list and Taj Bradley expected to be activated.

Pepiot was forced from Sunday’s game when he was hit on the leg by a 107.5 mph line drive. Though initial X-rays were negative, he came in sore Monday and more so on Tuesday (“a little sorer than what we were anticipating,” manager Kevin Cash said). That led team officials to send him for a CT scan, which can provide a more detailed image of any fracture.

Though the scan was clear, Cash said after Tuesday’s game the team is likely to take a cautious route with the 26-year-old. Since being acquired from the Dodgers in the Tyler Glasnow trade, he has been one of the Rays’ best starters.

“Pepiot is likely going to go on the IL,” Cash said. “We’ll have probably more of an announcement (Wednesday), but likely.”

Bradley, 23, seems likely to be inserted into the rotation on Friday for his season debut. The hard-throwing right-hander had a pair of dazzling rehab starts for Triple-A Durham after being sidelined during spring training with a pectoral muscle strain. He went 5-8 with a 5.59 ERA over 23 games (21 starts) last year as a rookie, striking out 129 in 104⅔ innings.

If Bradley starts Friday and Pepiot goes on the injured list, the Rays could start Zack Littell Saturday and lefty Tyler Alexander Sunday against the Yankees. Then they would open the ensuing series in Boston with Zach Eflin and Aaron Civale.

Rehab report

Second baseman Brandon Lowe (oblique strain) started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Tuesday, going 1-for-2 with a walk and playing five innings in the field. ... Reliever Pete Fairbanks (nerve-related issue) also made his first rehab appearance, allowing two hits in an inning. “Looked like his velocity was in check,” Cash said. Team officials and Fairbanks would discuss whether he will make another rehab outing. “I’m not sure,” Cash said. “We’ll put our heads together and see where we go.” ... Infielder Jonathan Aranda (broken right ring finger) went 4-for-5. ... Right-hander Shane Baz (left oblique) is set for his next start Friday with Durham.


The five-game winning streak is the Rays’ longest since a seven-game run from June 2-9, 2023. ... Their streak of six straight home wins is their longest since winning their first 14 last season. ... Centerfielder Jose Siri, who is 3-for-his-last-37, was out of the lineup for a second straight game but expected to start Wednesday. ... Right-hander Jacob Waguespack was recalled from Durham and placed on the 15-day injured list due to a shoulder issue. He’s not expected to be out long, but by doing it this way, the Rays, if he were to have a setback, can move him to the 60-day IL and thus replace him on the 40-man roster. … Tampa-born Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, back with the White Sox as a senior adviser and feeling good after dealing with heart and cancer issues, made the trip to Tropicana Field. He visited Monday with Cash and planned to check in during the week with Lou Piniella, another Tampa native and longtime MLB manager. ... Edwin Uceta closed out the final two innings of Monday’s game with what Cash called an “awesome” performance, allowing just one walk. Uceta, a 26-year-old who had previous big-league time with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Mets (a total of 25 games and 40⅓ innings), signed a minor-league contract with the Rays during the offseason and impressed during spring camp. ... Josh Lowe has hits in his last 13 games going back to Sept. 15.

• • •

Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter to get daily updates on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida.

Never miss out on the latest with your favorite Tampa Bay sports teams. Follow our coverage on Instagram, X and Facebook.