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 keep watch on health of Aybar, Floyd

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have enough injury issues, with five players likely to open the season on the disabled list. But they'll feel a lot better about things if 3B Willy Aybar and DH Cliff Floyd feel good after their workouts today.

Aybar, sidelined nearly a week with a sore left hamstring, hit and played the field in a minor-league game with no problems Friday.

"He came out of it feeling pretty good," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We'll see how he feels (this) morning, but we're very optimistic on that front. The only challenging part is the fact that we're going to play in cold weather. It adds a little bit of hesitation when you have a minor hamstring tweak. … It's important to go into Baltimore feeling comfortable with the depth we have in the event that he can't go."

If Aybar is limited, the Rays could use either Elliot Johnson or whoever makes the team between Eric Hinske and Joel Guzman.

Floyd has been slowed by a sore knee, but Friedman said: "From all I know, he's going to be more than ready to go on opening day, and looking forward to getting going. That's what he said to me (Friday) morning."

NO ROCCIN: The Rays put OF Rocco Baldelli on the 60-day disabled list to make room for waiver claim Nathan Haynes, figuring even if Baldelli overcame the rare condition that leaves him fatigued he wouldn't be ready to play before the May  30 date he is eligible to return anyway.

Friedman said Baldelli has seen "definite improvement" but has not been participating in baseball activities so it was difficult to judge his progress.

KAZ UPDATE: Ace LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow strain) not only feels "wonderful," but said he plans to throw a bullpen session Sunday, which would be the first time he has been on the mound in more than two weeks.

The Rays are looking at the situation as if Kazmir is just starting spring training, which, manager Joe Maddon said, means it "could be" a month until the ace lefty is ready for a regular-season game.

But Kazmir, naturally, is banking that it takes less time, hoping to make just a few extended spring training and minor-league rehab starts.

"Hopefully, it's not going to be as long as spring training," Kazmir said. "I'm happy where we're at right now. I think we took the right step to go about this, making sure everything is good."

TOUGH GOING: John Rodriguez and Jon Weber both had an opportunity when the Rays needed a left-handed-hitting outfielder, but neither had a good enough spring to avoid being sent to Triple A. Weber hit .191 and Rodriguez .171. "I didn't hit — point-blank," Rodriguez said. "If I would have hit, it would have been a different story. But I made it easy. I made that decision easy."

Andy Cannizaro looked like a frontrunner for a utility job after Ben Zobrist's left thumb injury, but then Cannizaro was sidelined for more than a week due to inflammation in his back and was sent to Triple A.

"There is that 'what if?' part," Cannizaro said. "Unfortunately, it's part of the game. It's not like I could do anything about it. I did everything I could have done to make sure it didn't happen. Just crappy timing."

MISCELLANY: Johnson earned the 2008 Al Lopez Award for the Rays top rookie during spring training. … RHP Matt Garza said he "felt great" after going five innings in the 6-3 loss to the Reds, his final tuneup before his Rays debut Wednesday. … The Rays will work out at Tropicana Field this morning before going to Sarasota. … Closer Troy Percival made his first ninth-inning appearance of the spring, giving up one run on three hits.

Rays keep watch on health of Aybar, Floyd 03/28/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2008 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

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

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.