Suddenly, Rays have lots of uncertainty
As the Rays prep for Friday's Fenway opener, there are facing a number of questions that don't have clear answers:
* RHP Jeremy Hellickson was required to take another concussion-related test this morning and though he felt he passed, he has yet to be cleared by MLB's doctors, which is part of the league protocol for head injuries. As a result, it's not certain that he will be allowed to start on Saturday. If not, the Rays would either have to use reliever Wade Davis, who pitched on Thursday, or, more likely, call up prospect RHP Chris Archer, who is set to pitch tonight for Durham. Archer would be the choice since Alex Cobb and Alex Torres both pitched earlier this week. The Rays are hoping to hear from MLB this afternoon, certainly in time whether to scratch Archer if needed.
* C Jose Lobaton said his right shoulder didn't hurt as much, but he still was unclear when he would be able to play, and said he was "day to day." He said he may see a doctor later today and doesn't want to play unless he is 100 percent. The Rays want him to test the shoulder so they can make a decision. They plan to have Jose Molina start today and Saturday, and could use Stephen Vogt if Molina had to leave the game. Vogt is the DH today, so the Rays would have to use a pitcher, or a pinch-hitter, to hit in that spot. If the Rays do need to add a catcher, their internal options are limited to two inexperienced players current at Triple-A, either Nevin Ashley or Craig Albernaz, or making a deal.
* DH Luke Scott was still feeling tightness in his left hamstring which is why he wasn't in the lineup, and wasn't sure going into batting practice today if he would be available to pinch hit. Scott said he was only about 60 percent hitting-wise and 40 percent running-wise on Thursday.