Wednesday morning report: Rays at Jays
UPDATE, 10:31: Hellickson said his first throwing session went well, as he made 25 tosses from distances of 45-60 feet: "Very encouraging. ... It felt really good.''
UPDATE, 10:29: The Jays say it is still raining and no decision has been made yet on the game.
UPDATE, 8:45: Today is a big day for Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who gets to throw for the first time since Jan. 29 surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow.
Hellickson will throw from a distance of 45-to-60 feet and is excited after six weeks of recovery and rehab to get on the field with a purpose.
"Absolutely,'' he said. "This is a big step in the process, getting out there to throw after six weeks off. This and the day I come back (to pitch in a game) are probably the two biggest things.''
Hellickson said he has been "feeling good" and in a "best case scenario" is eyeing a late May return, and he would expect by June 1.
UPDATE, 8:42: Cobb is supposed to be joined by RHPs Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour in throwing in the minor-league games, for Durham or Montgomery vs. Baltimore's AAA and AA teams.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are scheduled to play the Jays in Dunedin today, with RHP Nathan Karns on the mound.
Because of forecast rain in the Tampa Bay area, the Rays are hititng here in Port Charlotte this morning and delaying their departure for Dunedin until 9:30.
Karns, acquired from Washington just before spring training, is making the start as he is still in the running for the No. 5 starters job. It was RHP Alex Cobb's turn in the rotation, but he instead is pitching in a minor-league game here in Port Charlotte. That's in part because he faced the Blue Jays on Friday and will face them again the first week of the regular season.
Here is the Rays lineup for today:
J. Moore rf