ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will wait a few days to see if the pain caused by plantar fasciitis in 3B Evan Longoria's right foot subsides.
If it does, he will return to action, at least in a DH or pinch-hitting role, in the series starting Monday in Houston. If not, he likely will be put on the disabled list Tuesday, when the Rays have to make room to add LHP David Price, and be out through the All-Star break.
In the interim, the Rays called up INF Ryan Roberts to platoon with Kelly Johnson at third base and sent down RHP Alex Colome, who seemed to be the odd man out of the rotation when Price returned anyway.
Longoria said the plantar fasciitis has primarily been a matter of pain tolerance because he has dealt with it for about a month, but it felt significantly worse, and different, Friday, "like it kind of tightened up going down the line."
Longoria left the game against the Tigers immediately and the stadium in a walking boot and with crutches (that he didn't use), but he said he felt considerably better Saturday, which led the Rays to hold off for now on a DL move.
"We're going to let it calm down a little bit," manager Joe Maddon said. "Hopefully he's going to be able to do something over the next couple days in a positive way. We'll just wait and find out. That's one of those injuries that is not debilitating on any kind of a permanent basis."
The injury is not uncommon; former Ray Carlos Peña went through a similar situation. Sometimes it tears, and that can be a good thing because the pain from the stressed area is eliminated, but Longoria said, "We don't have any definitive results on if it did or didn't" tear.
But he hopes that as in some cases, the increased soreness is the last stage of the injury. "Hopefully this is the end of that and I'll be able to play pain-free the rest of the year," said Longoria, who started the team's first 80 games and leads the club with 17 home runs and 47 RBIs.
ROBERTS COMEBACK: Roberts said his newfound Christianity kept him from being bitter or angry about being sent unexpectedly to Triple A on June 18 when the Rays needed roster space to add OF Wil Myers, but he acknowledged he "really got brought down" and was "very humbled." Roberts hit .276 in his first eight games for the Bulls, saying he enjoyed playing every day, then got word late Friday he was headed back to the majors.
GOMES SETBACK: RHP Brandon Gomes, aiming to come off the disabled list Monday, experienced a setback in his recovery from a lat strain.
Gomes was warming up Thursday in Port Charlotte for what was to be the second of three rehab outings when he felt soreness in the same area. He said it's "nothing major," but he doesn't know how long his return will be delayed. He has been out since May 8.
"He was doing good," Maddon said. "I really anticipated him being back relatively soon. So, yeah, it's a little bit of a setback."
DRAFT BREEZE: The Rays are moving closer to a deal with Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek, their other first-round draft pick who was taken 29th overall. They are also in talks with sixth-round pick RHP Stephen Woods. The deadline is July 12.
MISCELLANY: LHP Matt Moore and another player will sign autographs for kids from 12:30-1 today. … RHP Juan Sandoval, the pitcher who is blind in one eye, was sent down from Durham, where he was 1-1, 3.79, to Double-A Montgomery; LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, 4-0, 0.51 with 11 saves, was promoted. … Several Rays texted or tweeted congrats to former teammate Stephen Vogt, who Friday night ended his career-starting 0-for-32 streak with a homer for Oakland. … Denny McLain is signing autographs (for a donation) before today's game at the Ted Williams museum.