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Rays place Yarbrough on COVID-19 IL, activate Arozarena

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles

Aug 6, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough (48) delivers in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON - The Tampa Bay Rays placed left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough on the COVID-19 injured list on Tuesday.

Manager Kevin Cash said Yarbrough, who was with the Rays over the weekend during a three-game sweep at Baltimore, did not join the club in Boston for a three-game series that opened Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

“He’s fine. Probably best not to go any deeper than that,” Cash said before Tuesday’s game. “We probably should just wait for more updates in the coming days and we’ll go from there.”

Cash said he was hopeful that the Rays could get Yarbrough (6-4, 4.76 ERA) back soon.

“I’d like to think that if we get through this turn and get through the rotation, that we should be talking having Yarbs back at that time, but still there’s a lot to be learned here in the next few days,” Cash said.

Yarbrough last pitched Friday, when he allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings before the Rays beat the Orioles 10-6.

With Yarbrough temporarily out of the rotation, Cash wasn’t certain who would start Wednesday night in the second game at Boston. He said the Rays could go with an “opener” to pitch the first couple of innings, then turn it over to the bullpen, or possibly start lefty Josh Fleming.

The Rays also activated outfielder Randy Arozarena from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday and had him batting leadoff. Tampa Bay also recalled RHP Louis Head from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday and placed right-handed reliever DJ Johnson on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Monday.

The team described Johnson’s injury as a right shoulder sprain but Cash indicated it could be worse. Johnson was added in a trade with Cleveland on July 30.

“I think it’s pretty severe. We’re getting some second opinions. He’s going to miss some time - substantial time,” Cash said. “We’ll wait for other doctors to look at it, but he’s not going to be throwing a baseball any time soon.”

Johnson spent most of the season at Triple-A Columbus, going 1-2 with six saves and a 3.32 ERA in 21 relief appearances.