Maddon decides to keep Dukes out
Elijah Dukes was not in the Rays lineup for a second straight game Thursday, but manager Joe Maddon said Dukes is expected to accompany the team on the weekend trip to Chicago and will play during the three-game series against the White Sox.
Dukes, who has been in the headlines since his wife alleged in Wednesday's Times that he threatened to kill her and their kids, was in uniform and went through pre-game workouts on Thursday.
Maddon said the decision to not play Dukes again was his, and was made for several reasons.
"I felt it was the right thing to do right now,'' he said.
Maddon said he was "not necessarily concerned" about the reaction from the Tropicana Field crowd, but indicated that primary issue may have been Dukes' ability to focus on baseball.
"Overall what's occurred over the last couple days, maybe the lack of concentration on his part during the course of the game, or focus, whether or not that may be true or not, I'm still considering that,'' Maddon said.
Maddon said Dukes, who had taken over as the primary centerfielder, would play in Chicago but when asked if Dukes would return to the starting lineup said only" "I expect him to play in Chicago.''
Also Thursday, Maddon said that backup catcher Josh Paul could be out for up to two months due to a sprain of a ligament in his left elbow. Shawn Riggans was promoted from Triple-A Durham and joined the team Thursday.