PHILADELPHIA -- Because of Joel Peralta's suspension, the Rays must play with a 24-man roster rather than the allowed 25, which makes for a potentially dire situation, since the Rays are playing three games in a National League park.
Since NL rules are used in NL parks, the pitcher hits -- that leads to more situations that call for substitutions. Thus, playing a man down can be detrimental.
The Rays chose to bring in Brandon Gomes to take Peralta's spot in the bullpen, which cost the Rays a body on the bench for pinch-hitting, pinch-running and late-inning defense.
"[Being] a man down is the toughest part," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "With a National League game, a four-man bench as opposed to a five-man bench. We felt like we could not go short in the bullpen and we chose not to. So the pinch-hitting and how you incorporate that bench is a little bit different. You might have to be a little more patient before you pull the trigger on something."
Rays send Joyce to DL among flurry of moves
PHILADELPHIA -- On Friday afternoon, the Rays experienced their busiest day of roster moves since 2003.
Seven Major League players were involved in Friday's transactions, which included the following:
Infielder Jeff Keppinger (broken right big toe) was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after missing 29 games.
Outfielder Matt Joyce was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left external oblique strain.
Right-hander Joel Peralta dropped his appeal and immediately began serving his eight-game suspension for using a foreign substance on his glove.
Infielder Brooks Conrad reported to the team after being claimed off waivers Thursday from Milwaukee.
Right-hander Brandon Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Durham, a move that would not have been possible unless the Rays had an injury. Gomes was sent back to Durham after Sunday's game and had there not been an injury, he would have had to wait 10 days before he could be recalled.
Outfielder Rich Thompson was optioned to Durham.
Infielder Drew Sutton was designated for assignment.
"Obviously [Friday's moves] have been a couple of days in the making," said Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. "We knew what we likely faced with Peralta and weren't really sure on Joyce.
"... Last night we went through it in detail and kind of had a chain of events in order and went through different checkpoints, and once we knew that Matt Joyce was going to go on the DL, we used that to activate Brandon Gomes, because we would not have been able to otherwise."
The Rays made moves involving 10 players on May 9, 2003, when they added infielders Felix Escalona and Antonio Perez, outfielder Jason Tyner, and left-handers John Rocker and Jim Parque. Subtracted that day were shortstop Rey Ordoñez, right-handers Steve Parris and Victor Zambrano, outfielder George Lombard and third baseman Chris Truby.
After feeling tightness, Longo in holding pattern
PHILADELPHIA -- Evan Longoria is at a standstill in regard to his return from a partially torn left hamstring.
Longoria felt some tightness Monday night while playing for Triple-A Durham. He joined the team in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday then returned home to the Tampa area on Wednesday.
"I think it's one of those things where we're not doing too much activity," said Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman. "It certainly doesn't feel like it did when he hurt it initially. But beyond that, we don't really know. We'll probably keep him down for a few more days and then start some progressions and see how he feels. But it will probably be a week to a week and a half until we have a really good feel."
Friedman further clarified his remarks by saying that Longoria continues to receive treatment for the injury, but he is not taking part in baseball activities.
"Probably when we [return from the road trip], we'll have a decent feel [about where Longoria stands]," Friedman said.
Conrad arrives in Philly to help out Rays
WASHINGTON -- Newcomer Brooks Conrad sat in limbo Thursday after finding out that the Rays had claimed him off waivers from the Brewers.
The Rays were not sure what they were going to do with the 32-year-old infielder, so he sat tight in Milwaukee while waiting for further instructions from the Rays, who could have sent him to Triple-A Durham or had him join them in Philadelphia.
Obviously, the Rays chose the latter, and Conrad was in uniform Friday night.
Conrad was batting .075 with two home runs and six RBIs in two stints with the Brewers this season. Those numbers have been countered by what he's accomplished at Triple-A Nashville this season, where he hit .405 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs.
"That's the part of baseball that's kind of crazy," Conrad said. "Moving up and down and all over the place. Another team signs you, but it all works out for best in the end."
Conrad, who came close to signing with the Rays during the offseason, can play third base, second, first, outfield, and serve as an emergency catcher. So when he arrived on Friday, he had five gloves with him.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he will use Conrad at second, third, first and as a pinch-hitter.
Joyce frustrated by injury, eager to return
PHILAELPHIA -- Matt Joyce has finally been getting a chance to play against left-handers more often, which added to his frustrations after going on the disabled list Friday.
"I felt like I was contributing a lot and we were kind of hanging in there," Joyce said. "I was getting a chance to play every day and started to feel really comfortable, and it's really unfortunate."
A doctor examined Joyce prior to Thursday's game in Washington and diagnosed an oblique injury. Joyce took some swings Friday to test out the injury before the final decision was made.
"The thing is we don't want it to be a serious [oblique injury]," Joyce said. "So take a little time and let it heal fully."
Joyce said he thinks he will be ready before his 15-day stint (retroactive to June 20) runs its course.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.