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Pena out with hamstring tightness



Update 10:37 p.m Pena said he felt "fine" after Thursday's game, with both he and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield optimistic his hamstring injury isn't serious. Manager Joe Maddon said there's a chance Pena could be in the lineup Friday against the White Sox, but Pena will undergo some more tests, and the Rays are likely to be patient with him.

Update 8:16 p.m Carlos Pena has left the game before the bottom of the fourth with right hamstring tightness, and was replaced by Eric Hinske, who had moved from rightfield. Nathan Haynes took Hinske's spot in right.

The Rays list Pena as day-to-day.

Pena grounded out to third in the top of the fourth, but didn't appear to show signs of discomfort.

Update 5:47 p.m. There's some pre-game injury notes from the Rays on the DL.

* C Dioner Navarro (finger cuts) had six at-bats Thursday at extended spring, three from the right side, three from the left. Navarro's next step is catching for seven innings Friday at Vero Beach, when ace LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow strain) makes a rehab start. Navarro will also catch seven innings Sunday, when RHP Matt Garza (radial nerve irritation) has a rehab start.

That puts Navarro, if all goes well, likely back next week (could be the Disney series following Monday's day off). 

*Kazmir will throw 3-to-4 innings Friday at Vero (45 pitches). The Rays have set a timetable for his return to the rotation May 3 vs Boston.

*Garza had a second bullpen session Thursday, with the Rays saying everything went well. Garza will make a rehab start Sunday in Vero, throwing four innings, 60 pitches. Maddon said that it's possible Garza could return by next Friday, but will wait and see how he feels after his Sunday outing.

*Salas arrived and is working to get into "baseball shape," according to the Rays. The Rays have 30 days before they have to remove him from the restricted list. Salas threw a bullpen session today at the complex, but was instructed to take it easy. Those who saw Salas today said he looked good physically but basically it's too early to tell how far along he his pitching-wise.

The Rays will monitor him for about a week and then put together a more exact game plan from there. Theoretically, the 30-day period is like a substitute for spring training, and the Rays won't necessarily keep him on the restricted list that long, according to executive VP Andrew Friedman.

"We're relieved that this process is over and we're excited to get Juan to the States and get him back pitching,"  Friedman said. "Physically, he looks great. Now it's just a case of building up his arm strength and getting him in a position to go compete against hitters. We'll have a better feel for when he'll be ready to do that in seven to 10 days."

At long last, RHP Juan Salas has arrived.

The Rays say Salas, stuck the past few months in the Dominican Republic due to visa issues, reported today to the Naimoli complex in St. Petersburg. We'll hear more from executive VP Andrew Friedman later on what the plans are for the reliever, whether he can stay on the restricted list or not.

As for today's game with the Twins, the Rays lineup looks similar to Wednesday, with B.J. Upton once again placed in the third spot, sandwiching cleanup hitter Carlos Pena with Evan Longoria behind them. It worked out well Wednesday with Crawford and Upton each getting hits

Jonny Gomes is once again DH, with Eric Hinske in rightfield

Of course, all the talk last night was about Carl Crawford's diving catch of a foul ball in the eighth; though it was a big play, there were several other miscues by the Rays in that game that led to another close loss. Of the Rays nine losses, only two are by more than three runs

Iwamura, 2b

Crawford, lf

Upton, cf

Pena, 1b

Longoria, 3b

Hinskse, rf

Gomes, dh

Difelice, c

Bartlett, ss

Gomes, cf

Tolbert, ss

Mauer, c

Morneau, 1b

Young, lf

Kubel, dh

Harris, 2b

Lamb, 3b

Span, rf



[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:35am]


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