Longoria out against Royals; Joyce in RF
Update 5:10: Lots of injury updates in manager Joe Maddon's pre-game session, with Evan Longoria on the top of the list.
Both Maddon and Longoria were pleased with how well he felt today, and said the injured left hamstring just has him day to day, though it's likely they will wait until Friday's series opener in New York to play him (and then it will be at third base).
*DH Pat Burrell is scheduled to hit off the tee in the cage the next couple days, and he'll stay back here this weekend and hit in the cage, before they start a program early next week to get him back (setting up rehab assignment, etc).
*SS Jason Bartlett is progressing well, Maddon said, with Bartlett moving around a little bit and feeling fine. Maddon didn't have a timetable for his return, and wasn't sure if he'd be ready when he's eligible to come off June 10.
Update 5:09: Kazmir said his bullpen session went really well, as he continues to make strides in working out his mechanical issues. He said the plan is to do bullpens, with two days off in betweem for a bout a week and see where he's at, and then try to work into a simulated game.
Manager Joe Maddon said Kazmir will likely have to throw somewhere in a minor league rehab assignment.
Update 3:34 Looks like LHP Scott Kazmir is throwing another bullpen session, under the watchful eye of pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Kazmir has said his last bullpen went great, and he's feeling close to getting where he wants to be. Manager Joe Maddon was encouraged after meeting with Kazmir yesterday, and said it sounds like he'll be back before the All-Star break.
'The Rays face the Royals tonight in the second of a three-game series, and they'll be without All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria (left hamstring), though the team was encouraged by the results of his MRI and are optimistic he'll return soon.
Matt Joyce, who has homered in his past two games, gets another start in right-field against Royals right-hander Brian Bannister. Willy Aybar starts at third for Longoria.
- JOE SMITH