Rays shorthanded at short: Zobrist has death in family, Escobar out
The Rays will be shorthanded - especially at shortstop - today and Monday.
Ben Zobrist left the team today to join his family following the Friday death of his grandmother, and Yunel Escobar remains sidelined with a bruised left hand.
The Rays could have put Zobrist on the bereavement list and called up a replacement, but that requires a three-day minimum absence and Zobrist is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday. in short, the Rays decided it was better to be shorthanded for two days than have a replacement (likely Tim Beckham) in exchange for having Zobrist back on Tuesday.
Escobar was sore and had trouble sleeping on Saturday night after being hit by a pitch, but the Rays say the x-rays showed no break and they expect him to miss three days, thus on target to return Wednesday.
Sean Rodriguez will play SS today and Monday, and Maddon said if Rodriguez were hurt or taken out of a game for strategic purposes they would probably first consider Evan Longoria at SS, then Ryan Roberts and Kelly Johnson.
The Rays also will be limited in their in-game moves as they have only Sam Fuld, Luke Scott and Jose Molina on the bench. Maddon said he would consider using pitchers as pinch-hitters or pinch runners but was leery. Plus they are shorthanded there too as Jeremy Hellickson flew home to prep for Monday's start.