Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

DL likely after Rays' Zobrist dislocates thumb

SEATTLE — The pain Rays 2B Ben Zobrist felt in dislocating his left thumb during a head-first slide into second base Wednesday was bad enough.

It hurt worse a short time later when a doctor popped it back into place. Then what really stung was the realization that the thumb will require about two weeks to fully heal, meaning Zobrist is likely headed to the disabled list.

"I'd be surprised (if I wasn't) because I jammed it pretty good and it's dislocated," he said. "We want to make sure it heals properly so I don't have any problems going forward."

Officially, manager Joe Maddon said the Rays will wait to see how Zobrist feels today before deciding what to do, mentioning the possibility that he'd be able to pinch-hit or DH left-handed and return by the middle of next week.

However, INF Cole Figueroa was pulled from Triple-A Durham's game on Wednesday and is headed west today on at least a contingency basis.

Zobrist, hitting .260 with three homers but only nine RBIs, was trying to steal second in the fifth, sliding headfirst — as he said he will continue doing — but trying "a little swim move" to avoid the tag, which led to the injury.

In Zobrist's absence, Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe are expected to share time at second base.

Zobrist has also been the backup shortstop — though Rodriguez can play there — so calling up Figueroa, who can play second, short and third, would provide the most depth. Plus, he is a left-handed hitter.

Figueroa, 26, a University of Florida product, spent most of 2012, all of 2013 and this season at Durham. He would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

ERIK THE READY: LHP Erik Bedard is set to start tonight in Anaheim after some uncertainty caused by soreness — "a little more than other times" — in his left pec muscle. As a precaution, the Rays put Durham LHP Enny Romero on a plane headed west Tuesday. But after Bedard felt okay when throwing off the mound, the Rays reached Romero when he got to Detroit for a connecting flight and told him he should head back to Durham.

PRICE RIGHT: LHP David Price was tremendously impressive Tuesday. He threw a 109-pitch complete game in the 2-1 come-from-behind win, scattering six hits, striking out 12 with no walks and fulfilling his quest to regain his 2012 Cy Young form.

What Maddon liked best was how he did it, throwing primarily fastballs (69) while mixing in sliders and a few curves and changeups. Noticeably absent was the cutter that Price frequently throws and occasionally makes mistakes with.

"What he did (Tuesday) to me is something he can do on a really consistent basis because the fastball was really, really good," Maddon said. "Maybe he taught himself a lesson."

Down 1-0, the Rays rallied in the ninth vs. former teammate Fernando Rodney. DH David DeJesus tied it with a leadoff homer, then James Loney, Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce rapped consecutive two-out singles for the go-ahead run.

COBB SET: RHP Alex Cobb threw a bullpen session in St. Petersburg with no issues and is set to make a rehab start Saturday for what could be the last test in his recovery from a strained oblique. The Class A Stone Crabs are home in Port Charlotte Saturday, but the Rays could send Cobb to Durham.

WEATHER ISSUES: The weather in Anaheim has been unusually warm — with a forecast high today of 102 and in the 90s Friday — combined with low humidity. Besides being uncomfortable, Maddon said those hot, dry conditions can make it difficult for pitchers to get a good grip: "The ball's going to feel like a cue ball in their hands."

MISCELLANY: The Rays last won with three or fewer hits May 1, 2012, vs. Seattle. … DeJesus' hitting streak ended at nine games. … Tuesday's game was played in 2:48, ending a streak of 14 of three-plus hours. … The Rays had lost 37 straight, 20 this season, when trailing after eight before Tuesday.

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