Rays place Pena on DL, recall Thayer
UPDATE, 7:05: Pena admitted he "wasn't thrilled" with the decision, but came to understand it was best for him and the team with the idea being he could play the remaining eight weeks hobbled or he could take an extra week and come back for the final seven weeks at 100 percent (or close to it). Also, Maddon said, the Rays needed some bullpen help.
DEVELOPING: The Rays decided to place 1B Carlos Pena on the 15-day DL after all, and are recalling RHP Dale Thayer to bolster their bullpen.
Pena has been sidelined since leaving last Saturday's game with right foot pain, but the Rays said several times in the last few days he was improving, was available to pinch-hit and was targeted to start this Saturday's game. Obviously Pena hadn't made enough improvement, and the Rays changed their mind. The move is backdated to Aug. 1, so he could return as soon as Aug. 16 against Texas - thus missing only nine more games.
Pena said the injury is the result of a partial tear of the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of his foot, the Rays are officially calling it a plantar fascia sprain.
With Pena out, Dan Johnson and Ben Zobrist are most likely to play first.
Thayer will provide a fresh arm for the bullpen, though his stay could be short as RHP Andy Sonnanstine is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday. In 37 games at Triple-A Durham, he is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA, with 44 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 45 2/3 innings.
Thayer's stay could be short as RHP Andy Sonnanstine is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.