Rays looking for bullpen help after Garrett Cleavinger is injured

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ST. PETERSBURG — Garrett Cleavinger tripped over Aaron Hicks’ leg Sunday and the Rays left-handed reliever injured his right knee on the weird play. Cleavinger was trying to tag Hicks in a 10th-inning rundown during the Rays’ 8-7 win.

“So unfortunate for Cleav,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I don’t really have an update on him. He’ll get checked out by some doctors, I’m sure tomorrow, but it’s likely (an IL stint). He was doing a nice job. It was kind of a quirky play, his knee grabbed.”

Cleavinger tried to throw after tumbling over Hicks, but walked off, carefully avoiding putting too much weight on the leg. He has made 15 appearances this season, pitching to a 3.00 ERA over 12 innings pitched.

Even before the bullpen blew Saturday night’s game against the Yankees and Cleavinger got hurt Sunday, the Rays were looking for ways to get some power back there. Saturday night, Luis Patino threw an inning of relief for Triple-A Durham.

It’s something the 23-year old right-hander has done well in in the past, and it is a role he is going to pitch in more going forward, Cash said before Sunday’s game.

“I think we’re going to try to shorten him up a little bit,” Cash said. “I don’t have exactly what’s going to take place. … Luis is still a very young pitcher, a guy that we really like, really care about a lot. (There’s) been some of inconsistencies early on in Durham and I think we’re going to explore that and see if we can get him to maybe take that mentality of more of a bullpen reliever. Come in and just let it go. And let’s see where that gets us.

“The best version that we saw of Luis was probably in (2021), I think when he was coming out of the bullpen for us. He was very, very powerful.”

In 14 games as a reliever in the big leagues, Patino has a 3.65 ERA. And in 20221, he threw nine innings over four appearances in the majors to a 1.00 ERA.

Patino features a four-seam fastball that averages 96.7 miles an hour and the Rays bullpen, which was dubbed a “stable of guys who throw 98” a few years ago, is short of hard-throwers right now with Pete Fairbanks on the injured list. With Patino struggling in six starts at Triple A, posting a 6.66 ERA with opponents hitting a healthy .282 against him, this could be a way the Rays use him more effectively.

Slow going with Glasnow

Tyler Glasnow, who began the season on the injured list with a strained oblique sustained early in spring training, told Cash that he felt fine after his first minor-league rehab start. The right-hander threw 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking two on 46 pitches Friday night. The Rays are likely to keep him on the rehab assignment for an extra turn to make sure he is ready.

“He’s going to throw four innings, 60 to 65 pitches I think on Wednesday in Charlotte. Then we’ll talk,” Cash said. “I think in fairness and to get ahead of it, there’s a good chance he’s going to make another start after this upcoming one, just to kind of get him closer to normal build-up. Similar to a spring training (build-up).”


Right-hander Fairbanks, who is on the 15-day injured list with forearm inflammation, played catch before Sunday’s game. Cash said it was the first time Fairbanks has thrown since going on the IL. He would not be available until at least the beginning of next week. … Right-hander Zack Burdi cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham.

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