McHugh fanned five of the six batters he faced over two innings in Thursday's victory over the Angels. He didn't factor into the decision. The righty was sharp Thursday in his first appearance in three weeks, retiring every batter he faced. The 33-year-old threw 17 of his 23 pitches for strikes and now will look to build back up his stamina in order to earn a longer leash from conservative manager, Kevin Cash. McHugh will more than likely open for two to three innings in his next appearance.
Manager Kevin Cash said McHugh would serve as the Rays' opening pitcher for Thursday's series finale against the Angels, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports. Before he was activated from the injured list earlier this week after missing time with a lower-back strain, McHugh had been building up for a multi-inning relief role. As such, he should be capable of working at least two frames Thursday before giving way to primary pitcher Josh Fleming, who had served as a traditional starter in three of his prior four appearances.
McHugh (back) was activated from the 10-day injured list Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 33-year-old spent the past few weeks on the shelf with a lower-back strain but will rejoin the active roster Tuesday. McHugh surrendered six runs through his first 5.1 innings of the season before the injury, and he'll attempt to get on track now that he's healthy.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said McHugh (back) would travel with the team for its seven-game road trip that begins Monday, Jordan Horrobin of MLB.com reports. Cash wasn't willing to reveal a target date for when McHugh might be activated from the 10-day injured list, but the skipper noted the right-hander is "definitely going in the right direction." Considering McHugh tossed a two-inning simulated game Sunday, the Rays would most likely want to give him at least Monday and Tuesday off for rest before his activation is considered.
McHugh (back) is set to throw again at the alternate training site Thursday and could be activated for the start of the Rays' next road trip Monday, the Associated Press reports. The veteran appears to be making solid progress throughout his recovery timeline, as he was able to throw off a mound both Friday and Sunday without setbacks. If McHugh continues on the same trajectory, it appears he'll have a chance to return to his long-relief role having spent just a handful of days over the minimum on the injured list.
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