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Rays reinstate SP Shane McClanahan, OF Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays have reinstated left-hander Shane McClanahan from the 10-day injured list and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the COVID-related injury list.  In corresponding moves, right-hander Joey Krehbiel has been designated for assignment while righty Louis Head has once again been optioned to Triple-A Durham.  (Rays broadcaster Neil Solondz was among those to report the news.)

McClanahan is scheduled to start today’s game against the Tigers, and the southpaw will return after a minimal 10-day IL visit due to lower back tightness.  McClanahan has enjoyed a lot of success in his first MLB season, posting a 3.59 ERA/3.62 SIERA and very solid strikeout (27.5%) and walk (7.3%) rates over 22 starts and 110 1/3 innings.  While McClanahan allows a lot of hard contact, it hasn’t translated into much extra damage — if anything, McClanahan’s .339 BABIP indicates he has perhaps been a little unlucky.

While 2021 marked McClanahan’s first taste of regular season action, he actually made his big league debut during last year’s playoffs, delivering an 8.31 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.  The Rays will be hoping for much more from McClanahan in this year’s postseason, as the left-hander projects to be one of the few pitchers on Tampa’s roster that might be used more or less in a traditional starting role, though the Rays are likely to be very flexible in how they deploy their arms.

Kiermaier returns after a one-day precautionary stay on the COVID-IL, and Krehbiel (who was added to the active roster in Kiermaier’s place and demoted to Triple-A after Saturday’s game) will now hit the DFA wire.  Krehbiel’s one official day as a Ray saw him toss a scoreless inning in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Detroit, and it gave Krehbiel his first appearance in a Major League game since 2018, when he was a member of the Diamondbacks.

Krehbiel now has four total innings over his MLB career, to go along with 492 career innings in the minors while pitching in the Angels, Diamondbacks, and Rays organizations.  Krehbiel has a 4.19 ERA in 43 innings at Triple-A Durham this year, with a 29.5% strikeout rate and 5.1% walk rate.  These numbers could attract some attention on the waiver wire for the 28-year-old Krehbiel, if another team thinks he could be a late bloomer as a relief pitcher.

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