For starters, Rays vs Tigers
Update 5:01 p.m. DH Luke Scott (back) is back with the Rays, having been activated from the DL, saying he's ready to contribute to the lineup on a regular basis.
Maddon put Scott in at the cleanup spot, and Scott likes where he's at with his swing, having hit a couple homers for Durham this past week.
*Maddon said 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) is still shut down from baseball activities, and he doesn't expect a whole lot of advancement in the next several days. Maddon acknowledged Longoria had suffered a "setback" when he felt discomfort in his hamstring in a minor league assignment with Durham. There's no timetable on Longoria's return.
*RHP Kyle Farnsworth (elbow strain) said he's ready to return from the DL, with Maddon saying likely Saturday. Farnsworth was encouraged after back-to-back outings with Triple-A Durham Tuesday and Wednesday, saying he was most happy with his command of his breaking balls.
RHP Joel Peralta (suspension) threw to hitters Sean Rodriguez and Will Rhymes this afternoon during live BP, joking he almost tripped over the mound because "it's been too long." Peralta said he's stayed sharp during the eight-game suspension, including throwing a bullpen session in Kansas City, but acknowledged it's been "the longest eight days of my career."
*RHP Jeff Niemann (broken right fibula) said he finally stopped using a scooter Monday - six weeks from his injury - and has been able to walk around a little bit. He's even played catch from about 60 feet, including on Thursday afternoon. "It feels good to stand up again," Niemann quipped. There's still no timeframe on Niemann's return.
*Maddon said RHP Jeremy Hellickson (shoulder soreness) is in line to return Saturday for his scheduled start against the Tigers.
Update 4:58 p.m: Rays manager Joe Maddon said he put LF Desmond Jennings back up to the top spot because he liked his at-bats in Wednesday's loss to KC. DH Luke Scott, activated from the DL today, is in the cleanup spot.
Developing: The Rays return home after a disappointing road trip, hoping to flip the momentum and get back on track as they host the Tigers to begin a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
They should have some reinforcements, as DH Luke Scott is expected to be activated off the disabled list, giving their lineup a boost. RHP Chris Archer was optioned back to Triple-A Wednesday night to make room. The Rays could also get RHP Kyle Farnsworth (elbow strain) and RHP Joel Peralta (suspension) back Saturday.
We could get a further update on 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring), who had been temporarily shut down from baseball activities after feeling discomfort in his hamstring in a rehab assignment over a week ago.
RHP Jeff Niemann is at the Trop doing some early work on the field, without any boot. He's throwing in the outfield with bullpen catcher Scott Cursi, a sign he's making progress in his rehab.
RHP James Shields willl be on the mound tonight for the Rays, with RHP Max Scherzer going for the Tigers.
Lineups and more to come......