Rays reinstate Franklin from concussion DL

Sturdevant optioned to Triple-A in corresponding move

Rays reinstate Franklin from concussion DL

HOUSTON -- Nick Franklin was reinstated from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday.

Franklin was removed from the Rays' 2-0 win over the Padres on Aug. 17 before the second inning after sustaining a head contusion. Kevin Kiermaier accidentally hit Franklin -- who was wearing a helmet -- on a back-swing while warming up in the on-deck circle before the bottom of the first, but he stayed in for his first at-bat and walked. He went on the DL on Aug. 20.

"It was just fatigue and getting back to that workload and understanding that it's really not a big issue and understanding it wasn't as bad as the last two," said Franklin when asked about the effects. "It wasn't nearly as the last concussions."

To make room for Franklin, the Rays optioned right-hander Tyler Sturdevant to Triple-A Durham. Sturdevant was recalled prior to Thursday's game and struck out both batters he faced in the ninth inning of the Rays' 2-1 win over the Red Sox. He is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 16 games this season.

Franklin told reporters he suffered two other concussions in his career, which both occurred while still in the Mariners' organization. In 2011 he got hit by a bat when he was in the batting cage while at Double-A Montgomery. And in 2013 he was running to make a play on a ball and ran into teammate Justin Smoak's knee.

Going forward, Franklin is a player the Rays would like to take a good look at prior to next season. He can play all the infield and outfield positions and proudly claims he can be the emergency catcher as well.

"I've enjoyed [playing all the different positions]," Franklin said. "Just really trying to play every position is valuable for the team and I enjoy it."

Franklin hurt by warm-up swing

Franklin had a disappointing 2015 season. He had been earmarked for a spot on the team's 25-man roster but suffered an oblique strain late in Spring Training. That setback seemed to set the tone for his season.

He began 2016 at Durham. This will be his third stint with the team this season and he has hit his way back into favor. His versatility has only added to that attractiveness. Thus, Franklin appears as if he'll have a solid opportunity for the remainder of the season.

"He's going to get an opportunity, he's earned the right to get an opportunity," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's played tremendous for us. He's had good at-bats, he's run the bases well, we've stuck him out in different positions and he seems to have taken to the outfield really well.

"He's making the most [of his opportunity], he's, in a way, kind of forcing our hand, which we're excited about. We want to see him play a lot of ballgames. Get consistent at-bats going forward this last month."

Cash was asked if Franklin seemed looser this year than in 2015. He mulled over the question briefly then smiled: "Yeah, I think success allows that."

Franklin was asked about his coming opportunity.

"I don't have any different feelings from when I came up here until now," Franklin said. "I just want to continue to keep my standard approach and keep doing what I'm doing."

Franklin came to the Rays in 2014 as part of the three-way deal between the Tigers and Mariners that saw David Price go to the Tigers.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.