Rays vs. Twins, holding first
UPDATE, 6:24: To clarify, Pena has a partial tear in the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of his foot, not a tendon as he first said.
UPDATE, 5:54: Pena said the problem in his foot is a slight tear in a small tendon on the bottom of his foot. "The good news is that it's a tendon that is not that crucial, that's not needed, so it's all about pain tolerance,'' he said. And he said it's feeling better. "Now it's all about how much pain can I tolerate, and I'm tolerating it pretty good right now,'' he said. "I'm not going on the DL - no chance. I feel way too good for that to be the case.''
UPDATE, 5:38: Zobrist said he feels good after workout, is available to pinch-hit tonight and expects to start on Weds. Maddon confirms, and it sounds like 1B is mostly likely, to minimize the jarring of running. Maddon not clear on status of Pena, saying he will be pushed a bit on Wednesday with a decision then on whether to put him on DL or let him recover. Maddon also said Johnson will get his chance to play, at first until Pena is back and then primarily at DH against righthanded pitchers.
UPDATE, 4:23: 1B Carlos Pena said he does not expect to go on DL, is feeling better and hopes to play in Toronto.
UPDATE, 4:05: Johnson goes right into the lineup at first base:
DEVELOPING: Now that the Rays completed their nearly seven-week climb back to first place in the AL East, the challenge is to stay there as they begin Tuesday tied with the Yankees at a major-league best 66-39 with 57 games to play.
Ben Zobrist was out on the field for an early workout as the Rays try to gauge his progress in recovering from a stiff back - he hit from both sides of the plate, ran the bases and took ground balls at first and second, all under the watchful eye of manager Joe Maddon, head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and most of the coaches.
INF/OF Dan Johnson, who hit the home run in Boston in 2008, will be here, having been added to the roster after Monday's game.
And here's an interesting stat:
With the Rays and Yankees at 66-39, this is just the 8th time in AL history two teams have been this good after 105 games, first since
1971 when Oakland and Baltimore were also 66-39.
1970 Minnesota 67-38, Baltimore 66-39
1928 New York 72-33, Phil A’s 68-37
1954 Cleveland 72-31-2, New York 70-34-1
1925 Phil A’s 70-35, Washington 67-38
1939 New York 72-33, Boston 66-39
1911 Phil A’s 68-37, Detroit 66-39