ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.
With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever Sergio Romo, 35, is older on the Rays' 25-man roster.
"It's unfortunate for a leader in this clubhouse and the year he's having," Moore said of Ramos' injury creating an opening for him.
"At the end of the day, it's baseball, it's a team game and some guys need to come up and step in and do as much as you can. Obviously that's a big piece of this team, but I'm just going to come up here, and however much I play, I play."
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Rays manager Kevin Cash said the initial plan will be to have Sucre play two days on, one day off, making sure not to overwork Sucre, who played in just 37 of the team's first 96 games. Moore will likely make his Rays debut Sunday with an early start. Sucre entered Friday's game with a .229 average and 12 RBIs in 96 at-bats.
"I don't think it's fair just to sit there and say 'Hey. Go catch five in a row.' He's not built to do that," Cash said of Sucre's workload. "We'll monitor that, see how his body responds. … Two on, one off and we'll see how it plays from there."
The Rays are Moore's fifth major-league team, having gotten most of his playing time with the Mariners (2009-11) with brief appearances with the Royals (2012-13), Padres (2014) and Indians (2015-16). He has 3,331 minor-league at-bats, with a .197 career average in the majors. His time in Durham gives him familiarity with the Rays staff, as five current pitchers spent time with the Bulls this season.
Cash didn't want to put a specific timetable on Ramos' return, but said "I think it's fair to say he's going to be out for a little bit."
Field designated for assignment
To make room for Moore on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated rookie outfielder Johnny Field for assignment. Field, 26, hit .213 in 169 at-bats with six home runs and 14 RBIs for the Rays; he was hitting .348 in six games since being optioned to Triple-A Durham.
"He's a guy that we definitely feel can go out there and be very serviceable," Cash said. "He played great defense, got some big hits. For our sake, I hope he stays with us."
3B Matt Duffy, slated to bat second Friday, was a late scratch due to back spasms, with Cash saying he was "fine". The Rays plugged Adeiny Hechavarria into Duffy's No. 2 slot in the batting order and at shortstop, sliding Daniel Robertson over to third.
Rays minor-league outfielder David Olmedo-Barrera, 24, was suspended 80 games without pay on Friday after he tested positive for performance-enhancing substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT). Olmedo-Barrera, who was placed on the restricted list this month, was hitting .242 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in his second season with the Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs.
This and that
• LHP Jonny Venters, on the disabled list since June 25 with a right hamstring strain, will make a second rehab appearance Saturday with Class-A Charlotte. Venters threw a scoreless inning Thursday, recovering nicely after a leadoff walk. LHP Vidal Nuno, on the DL since July 4 with a right hamstring strain, will throw a bullpen session at Tropicana Field on Saturday.
• Ramos will sign autographs for a $20 charity donation Saturday, from when gates open until the first pitch at the Ted Williams Hitters Museum at Tropicana Field.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.