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. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season


    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  2. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  5. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.