ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay placed starter Shane Baz on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a right elbow sprain, leaving the Rays with 17 players on the IL.
Their list, which ties the Cincinnati Reds for the most in the major leagues, includes 12 pitchers. Despite all the injury woes, Rays hold the first AL wild-card spot.
Baz felt discomfort playing catch Tuesday and will be shut down for at least four weeks.
The right-hander, 1-2 with a 5.00 ERA in six starts this season, had surgery on his right elbow in March and didn't make his season debut until mid-June. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said the two injuries are not related.
The Rays did get some good news on the injury front. Luis Patino, out since April 12 with a left oblique strain and blister issues, is expected to start Friday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Another starter, Jeffrey Springs, is expected to return when eligible on July 22 after being sidelined by lower right leg tightness since July 7. The lefty is 3-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 19 games, including 11 starts.
Cash didn't rule out second baseman Brandon Lowe returning this weekend. The slugger hasn't played a big league game since mid-May due to a lower back injury.
"He said he feels good and we're encouraged by that," Cash said.
Tampa Bay is missing shortstop Wander Franco (fractured hamate bone surgery), center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (left hip), catcher Mike Zunino (left shoulder) and ace Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery, Aug. 2021).
Tampa Bay recalled reliever Luke Bard from Triple-A Durham.