Injured foot to sideline Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Reid Brignac for several days

Reid Brignac, who has hit well as he vies for the starting shortstop job, doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Reid Brignac, who has hit well as he vies for the starting shortstop job, doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return.

JUPITER — Reid Brignac's chances to win the starting shortstop job may be derailed by a right foot condition related to plantar fasciitis that will keep him sidelined at least several more days.

"That's just a nasty little injury," manager Joe Maddon said. "I don't know exactly how long it's going to take."

Brignac had been having a good spring but has not played in a major-league game since Thursday. He said an MRI exam revealed a partial tear of the plantar fascia (underside of the foot, where the heel and arch meet). A Monday cortisone shot helped, and he hopes to resume baseball activities in three to four days.

"I want to get back on the field as soon as I can," Brignac said in Port Charlotte. "It's bad timing. It's just an unfortunate thing that happened. Nothing that I could have done differently. Now it's treat it, take care of it and get back as soon as I can."

The condition is painful and to properly heal requires the plantar fascia sheath to tear on its own, Maddon said, which makes it difficult to predict a timeline.

"Once it's tolerable, I can play," Brignac said. "Runners have this type of injuries, basketball players have this type of injury. They just play through it, and once it pops, treat it and then after that it's great from there on out."

If Brignac is out, Sean Rodriguez is the likely starter with Elliot Johnson the backup.

DAVIS SHARP: All Wade Davis needed was to take a line drive off the right ankle in his second inning to turn up the heat and turn out his best outing of the spring, retiring nine of his final 10, with an uptick of several mph in velocity.

"The moral of the story is to hit him in the foot hard with a blunt object before he goes to pitch because he was entirely different after that ball hit him in the foot," Maddon said. "Velocity came up, breaking ball got better, he was throwing his split. Really, really a great performance post-line-drive-in-the-foot."

Davis, who claimed the line drive didn't change anything, said his ankle hurt and "was numb for a little bit" but not enough to leave the game. He allowed one run and three hits over five innings, striking out five while throwing 63 pitches, praising C Jose Lobaton for his work behind the plate. "It was a good day," Davis said.

UPTON UPDATE: CF B.J. Upton got back on the field for the first time since his March 14 outfield collision and was encouraged after taking batting practice and going 0-for-2 with a walk in parts of two minor-league games.

"I felt pretty good," Upton said. "I like the strides I made. The biggest thing is seeing pitches, and I saw enough pitches, had some good swings. It's a great day for me right now."

He hopes to play against the Yankees today.

Also, C Robinson Chirinos, sidelined more than a week with a concussion, said he is feeling better but still has some symptoms and will have further testing this week.

Also playing in minor-league games were 1B Carlos Peña and 3B Evan Longoria, who both homered; Jeff Keppinger; Jose Molina; and Luke Scott. Fernando Rodney and Joel Peralta pitched.

GAME DETAILS: Non-roster INF Will Rhymes knocked in all three runs for the Rays (5-10-3) with a two-run double (that would have been a triple if he hadn't overslid the bag) and a single. … Maddon praised LF Desmond Jennings and DH Matt Joyce for their at-bats. … Minor-league RHP Ryan Reid gave up a run in the ninth but got the final out with two on.

Injured foot to sideline Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Reid Brignac for several days 03/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 9:20pm]

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