The Rays removed reliever Oliver Drake from their American League Division Series roster with the Yankees due to a right flexor tendon strain, per a team announcement. Trevor Richards has been activated in a corresponding move. Players removed from a postseason roster mid-series are ineligible to return in the next round, so Drake would not be available for the ALCS should Tampa Bay qualify.
Drake hasn’t pitched since Game 1 of this series, when he threw a scoreless inning. The 33-year-old struggled in his eleven regular season frames this year, but he was a key bullpen piece for skipper Kevin Cash in 2019. Last year, Drake tossed 56 innings of 3.21 ERA/3.87 FIP ball, finding a home after a chaotic 2018 season that saw him pitch for five different clubs. He’ll be eligible for arbitration for a second time this offseason, where he’d receive a small raise on this year’s $1.025MM salary if tendered a contract.
Richards, 27, pitched in nine games (starting six) this season, working to a 5.91 ERA/4.97 FIP. The former Marlin will give Cash a multi-inning option out of the bullpen.