Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays activate Crawford from DL, but return unknown

Not true, rays say: The Rays denied a TV report that Rocco Baldelli, sitting on the bench Friday, suffers from muscular dystrophy.


Not true, rays say: The Rays denied a TV report that Rocco Baldelli, sitting on the bench Friday, suffers from muscular dystrophy.

DETROIT — OF Carl Crawford was activated off the disabled list Friday, entered in the ninth as a pinch-runner and received permission to take batting practice today. But Rays officials remain — at best — only cautiously optimistic he could return to the lineup for next week's playoff opener.

Crawford, recovering from Aug. 14 right hand surgery, said he felt fine after several days of swinging and he was confident he would be ready.

"You ask me, I'm 100 percent ready to play," he said. "You ask them, I don't know."

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said the Rays probably wouldn't know until Monday at the earliest. They want to see and assess how Crawford reacts to hitting on the field today for the first time since the Aug. 9 injury and again in the batting cage Sunday then talk with medical personnel Monday.

"(Today) and Sunday are such big steps. Until that happens, I don't have a great sense of what 'next steps' are because that's such an important part of the puzzle," Friedman said.

"It's definitely possible (he could be ready). But at this point, I'm not that optimistic because you need to get through Saturday and Sunday and then you've got to try to simulate things to get him game-ready in a short period of time. Obviously, if it lines up it'd be great. But we've got to get through Sunday to have a better sense if it's realistic or not."

Manager Joe Maddon saw Crawford swing at "soft toss" balls and said, "It looked normal to me. It looked very natural."

Friedman, however, said Crawford has "only tested it 10 percent of what you would actually need to get answers."

Crawford, 27, the longest tenured Ray, is sure he will be ready.

"They want me to move real slow and cautious, and I'm cool with that because I'm confident things will get better," he said. "If it was up to me, I'd be playing, but you never know. I don't know what's going to happen."

For now, Crawford will continue to be used only as a pinch-runner and/or defensive replacement.

SHIELDS UP?: Rays officials held a preliminary meeting Thursday about the composition of the postseason roster and will have more extensive talks Monday but have not made any decisions.

The same applies to the pitching rotation, though Maddon seemed to suggest James Shields was in line to work the opener.

Matt Garza is scheduled to start tonight and Shields on Sunday. But if the Rays have the AL East title wrapped up, Maddon said plans could change: "The biggest one to keep an eye on would be Shields' start on Sunday based on what could happen and when he'd have to pitch again."

If the Rays scratch Shields or limit him to a few innings, that could be a sign he is starting the opener either Wednesday or (more likely) Thursday. If he were pitching Game 2 on Friday, the Rays wouldn't have to alter the schedule because he would be on regular rest after a Sunday start.

The roster has to be submitted at 10 a.m. the day of the first game.

BALDELLI REPORT 'ERRONEOUS': An "exclusive" report by WFTS-Ch. 28 that OF Rocco Baldelli has muscular dystrophy is incorrect, Baldelli, the team and medical officials said.

"The report is erroneous," said Dr. Allan Weiss, who is treating Baldelli, in comments relayed by the team. "It is incorrect terminology. He has mitochondrial myopathy, not muscular dystrophy."

Asked before Friday's game if he had muscular dystrophy, Baldelli said, "No." And of the report, he said, "That's awful."

Rays team president Matt Silverman went further, saying in a statement: "The report issued by WFTS-TV Channel 28 is irresponsible and erroneous. We expect an immediate retraction and an apology to Rocco and his family."

Baldelli revealed in spring training he has a mitochondrial disorder, which is one of 43 diseases under the umbrella of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. WFTS touted the story by Wendy Ryan on its Web site ( and in a press release as news with the headline: "EXCLUSIVE: Rays Rocco Baldelli diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy."

MISCELLANY: Detroit's Gary Sheffield, a Tampa native, hit his 498th and 499th homers. … 3B Evan Longoria leads all major-league rookies with 27 homers.

Rays activate Crawford from DL, but return unknown 09/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008 5:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …