For starters, Rays vs. A's
Update 5:20 p.m The Rays caught a break on the injury front, as C Ryan Hanigan said his sore hamstring is feeling better, and he'll avoid the disabled list.
"Big relief," he said.
Hanigan said it's felt better the past few days, and he came in and tested it this afternoon with all the baseball activities (hitting, running, catching). Hanigan said he's available off the bench tonight, with manager Joe Maddon saying he'll likely play Wednesday.
*RHP Alex Cobb (oblique strain) said he's feeling good and ready to rejoin the rotation, likely Thursday against the A's. "Looks like it," he said. Cobb said he felt a little sore after Saturday's rehab start, but was encouraged with how he felt after Monday's bullpen, and is excited to return. Manager Joe Maddon wasn't ready to announce anything official pre-game because he had yet to have all the required conversations.
LHP Cesar Ramos said he hadn't talked with anyone about his role, though he'll likely move back to the bullpen in long relief.
*OF Kevin Kiermaier was excited to still be here, though is not for sure how long. Maddon wasn't definitive on that either, though pointing out Kiermaier is one of the best outfielders in the game and a big weapon.
*CF Desmond Jennings was activated from the bereavement list and is back in the lineup.
*Both 3B Evan Longoria and RF Wil Myers were on the field for early-batting practice with hitting coach Derek Shelton. Myers did some work off the tee, saying he was focusing on one major thing that he feels will help him. Myers says he's not hitting his pitch, and swinging at bad ones too, but believes he'll bounce out of it. He pointed out he struggled last year too in his Rookie of the Year season, and doesn't believe opponents are pitching him differently.
Update 5:15 p.m. CF Desmond Jennings has been activated from the bereavement list, and is back in the lineup in center.
Developing: The struggling Rays will open up a six-game homestand tonight against the red-hot A's.
Oakland has won nine of its last 10, including three straight, moving into first place in the AL West.
Tampa Bay (19-26), still stuck in last place in the American League East, are coming off a 3-4 west-coast road trip and hoping to right the ship at the Trop.
RHP Jake Odorizzi, who has been sharp lately, will start for the Rays, with the A's starting lefty Drew Pomeranz.
There could be some news pre-game, as the Rays were going to wait and see how C Ryan Hanigan (right hamstring soreness) was feeling before deciding on whether to put him on the DL or not. CF Desmond Jennings, who has been on the bereavement list, is expected to be back today.
Should have an update on RHP Alex Cobb, who had a strong rehab start Saturday for Class-A Charlotte and could return to the rotation by Thursday, with LHP Cesar Ramos likely moved back to the bullpen.
3B Evan Longoria, who has admitted he's not producing like he needs to, has been on the field for more than 20 minutes for early batting practice with hitting coach Derek Shelton.
The Rays lineup, and more, to come.