ST. PETERSBURG — CF Kevin Kiermaier was in such a good mood Friday, not even talk of Purdue football could erase his smile.
For the record, Kiermaier expects a three-, maybe four-win season for his Boilermakers. What had his spirits soaring was the fact that he is resuming his minor-league rehab tonight in Bradenton with Class A Charlotte.
"I'm feeling pretty darn confident right now," he said.
Kiermaier (right hip fracture) will DH tonight and Sunday. He has Monday off and is expected to rejoin the Stone Crabs on Tuesday in Jupiter. The idea is to get 15-20 at-bats then return to the Rays lineup next weekend when they host the Mariners.
"He's going to get his ABs," manager Kevin Cash said. "We need KK to come back as KK. We've had our hiccups with bringing guys back too soon, and we're going to do everything we can to get KK timed up at the plate and get his body feeling good."
Kiermaier's first stint with the Stone Crabs was cut short by back pain, scrapping his return that was scheduled for Tuesday. He said neither injury is an issue.
"The hip's great," he said. "The back is the one thing we're trying to maintain now. The rest is what I needed. I got plenty of it and now it's responding great to all my baseball activities. I'm a happy man."
Odorizzi feels good, too
RHP Jake Odorizzi put his bruised right foot to the test during his between-starts bullpen session. It passed.
Odorizzi, who was struck on the foot by a line drive Wednesday, expects to start Monday in Toronto.
"It was surprisingly good (Thursday) and it was even better (Friday)," he said. "It's going in the right direction. I got very lucky that nothing was worse than it was. I just need to go and get in a nice pitching groove. I've had a tough time with health this year, so it's hard to get in a groove when I'm battling a lot of things. So hopefully now I'm in the clear and I can get into a nice pitching groove and make my way up the ladder."
Longo day to day with bruised thumb
3B Evan Longoria left Friday's game after the fifth inning because of a bruised left thumb.
Longoria was struck on the palm of his hand while trying to field a smash off the bat of Indians 3B Giovanny Urshela. He remained in the game until the inning was over then headed to the trainer's room for treatment and an X-ray, which was negative.
"Thankfully everything was good," he said. "I don't really know timetable. Obviously, if I feel good when I wake up (this morning) I'll do my best to play. Let's leave it at that."
Quote of the day
"My defense will be where it needs to be when I'm back, but hitting and the timing and all that, you just can't wake up after two months and expect to step in and start hitting, unless you're Jose Altuve, and that I'm not."
Kiermaier on why he will DH during his rehab assignment.
. RHP Jose De Leon, who exited after two innings Wednesday while pitching for Class A Charlotte, has elbow tendinitis. There is no structural damage. It is uncertain if he will pitch again this season.
. RHP Alex Cobb (right, turf toe) said his toe felt fine during Friday's bullpen session.
. RHP Matt Andriese (right hip stress reaction) is scheduled to begin his minor-league rehab Sunday in Bradenton for Class A Charlotte.