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Tampa Bay Rays SS Jason Bartlett appears headed to DL; Shouse out longer

Update 6:01 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that there's a chance SS Jason Bartlett could go on the disabled list with a sprained ankle.

We could have something by gametime, but apparently his ankle is still sore, and as Maddon says, is in a "bad spot."

"As of 5:35 p.m., he's still on the active roster," Maddon said.

Bartlett appears headed for the DL, it's just a matter of when. One issue is when his replacement, Joe Dillon, can get here. Durham is playing in Rochester, so if Dillon can get here before gametime, we could have an announcement then.

If not, it'll likely come after the game. Either way, the Rays will be without their middle infielders (Akinori Iwamura is out for the year), which is a big blow.

The Rays are saying they dealt with adversity last season, when guys stepped up for injured starters, so this is an opportunity for Reid Brignac, Willy Aybar and Ben Zobrist to step in.

In other injury news

*LHP Brian Shouse, who originally said an MRI revealed a slight tear, clarified his statement after speaking with the medical staff, saying that it is indeed still a left elbow strain, but he will likely be out longer than he thought, making it potentially at least 3-4 weeks before he could return.

*DH Pat Burrell's return has been pushed back, as Maddon said his neck is still stiff. Burrell, who was eligible to come off the DL today, had to cancel his planned early hitting today due to the lingering injury, with Maddon saying they've postponed the early hitting workout until sometime in this weekend's series with the Twins at the Trop - at least.

So Burrell, at the very least, won't be back until this weekend's series sometime.

***

Tampa Bay Rays SS Jason Bartlett appears headed to the DL.

Bartlett was not in the lineup first posted in the Rays clubhouse, and INF Joe Dillon, who has been playing at Triple-A Durham, was listed as a reserve, though that card has since been taken down so nothing is official.

Also, LHP Brian Shouse said an MRI of his left elbow showed a slight tear of the flexor muscle and he will be out a while, but does not need surgery.

"Could have been worse,'' Shouse said. "Could have been a little better. But not worse case scenario.''

Bartlett, the second leading hitter in the AL, sustained what was described as a sprained ankle in Sunday's game on a slide by Florida's Dan Uggla. Manager Joe Maddon said at the time Bartlett was only expected to miss a day or two.

Dillon, acquired from Oakland for Adam Kennedy earlier this month, has some major-league experience with the Marlins (2005) and Brewers (2007-08). Dillon will have to be added to the 40-man roster, though the Rays should be able to make room by moving 2B Akinori Iwamura to the 60-day DL.

In the last five days the Rays have lost Bartlett, Iwamura, Shouse, LHP Scott Kazmir and RHP Troy Percival.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:47am]

    

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