Rays’ Nick Anderson calls it a season, heads home from Durham

Rays’ Nick Anderson calls it a season, heads home from Durham
·4 min read

ST. PETERSBURG — Nick Anderson didn’t seem likely to make it back to the big leagues this late in the season, and that is now official.

The right-handed reliever, a key part of the Rays’ 2019-20 success, left Triple-A Durham, where he has been pitching since late July on rehab and option, to get an early start on rest and recovery after two seasons of dealing with elbow issues.

“Nick was an impact reliever on consecutive postseason clubs for us, as critical to our success as anybody,” Rays baseball operations president Erik Neander said. “He’s worked tirelessly to regain that form, and we fully support this as the best next step towards that goal.”

Anderson also has been dealing recently with plantar fasciitis on his right foot and will see a doctor this week.

Anderson, 32, hasn’t pitched since Sept. 10, going 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 19 games. Though healthy, he has not returned to the dominant form he showed before being diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament in March 2021 and having a brace procedure to repair it in October.

The absence of that top stuff is the reason he has not been called up as the Rays have shuttled in other relievers. Anderson did make six September 2021 appearances for the Rays, who control his rights for the next three years but may not have room to keep him on the 40-man roster.

The news first came out of Durham, with Bulls manager Brady Williams telling Patrick Kinas on the pregame radio show that Anderson had decided to go home, saying it was “probably best for him mentally/physically with the daily grind of the last two years.” He added that Anderson’s “stuff came back a bit, but not where he/the organization likes it.”

Also Saturday, Luis Patino, who was sent back to Durham after his rough Sept. 11 outing against the Yankees, was a late scratch from his scheduled start due to right shoulder discomfort. He will be monitored and further evaluated over the next few days.

Choi’s helping hand

Ji-Man Choi got word from the Blue Jays’ clubhouse staff that Andrew Hong, a Toronto police officer shot and killed Monday, was of Korean descent and he and his family were Choi fans.

The Rays first baseman sent the family a signed ball and his condolences, saying via team interpreter Daniel Park, “that was very sad.” A Toronto police official came to Rogers Centre the next day to thank Choi.

On Sunday, Choi, through his Choi 51 Foundation, will make four $10,000 donations to the Gold Shield Foundation, which helps the families of fallen officers and firefighters, to be used by the St. Petersburg and Tampa police and fire-rescue departments.

Choi has been making donations over seven years in Korea and the United States (he has a home in Arizona) and wanted to do something in the Tampa Bay area this year. “I respect all the police officers and firefighters, and decided to help them out,” he said.

Margot targeted by fan

A fan was removed from Tropicana Field after yelling repeated obscenities at Rays rightfielder Manuel Margot. He notified one of the umpires, who brought security on to the field in the sixth inning to identify the man, creating a brief delay. “Applaud the grounds crew, the security (staff) and certainly the umpires for removing the fan,” manager Kevin Cash said.

Miscellany

Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena, two of the Rays’ most productive hitters, were not in the lineup as Cash said the team is “managing workload.” ... Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery) is slated for his third rehab start with Durham on Sunday. … Both Rays Class A affiliates won their first-round playoff series and advanced to league championship play starting Sunday; Bowling Green faces Aberdeen (Orioles), Charleston takes on Lynchburg (Guardians). ... The Rays hosted a pregame on-field naturalization ceremony for about 25 new citizens, who took the Oath of Allegiance from U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli, then recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The team said the event was tied to the federal courts’ annual celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. ... The Rays hosted the Italian 18-and-under national team competing in the world championship tournament in Bradenton/Sarasota, providing tickets, caps and concession/souvenir credits; former Tampa Bay minor leaguer (and A’s big-leaguer) Bobby Cramer is the team’s pitching coach.

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