Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Jennings leaves Rays' loss to Tigers with tight hamstring (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays had another outfielder leave a game with an injury. This time it was CF Desmond Jennings, who left in the third inning Thursday with tightness in his left hamstring.

Jennings suffered the injury in the second inning as he rounded first on a double to left-centerfield.

When asked after the Rays' 10-7 loss to the Tigers if he thought it could be a long-term injury, Jennings said, "Nah, it just tightened up on me. It should be good."

Jennings said the hamstring will be evaluated this afternoon. He was uncertain about his status for tonight's game.

The Rays currently have three outfielders on the disabled list: CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hand fracture), RF Steven Souza Jr. (left hip strain) and Mikie Mahtook (left hand fracture). OF Brandon Guyer returned Wednesday from the DL after missing 23 games with a left hamstring strain.

Medical matters: Souza Jr. is scheduled to begin his minor league rehab assignment tonight when Class A Charlotte plays at Bradenton.

Souza hit two home runs Thursday while facing RHPs Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) and Chase Whitley (Tommy John) during live batting practice.

Souza, who will play rightfield tonight, said testing his hip in the outfield is the most important part of playing in the games.

Cobb pitched two innings Thursday, throwing 20 in the first and 15 in the second.

The Rays will determine the next step for Cobb after he throws a bullpen Sunday. He might throw one more live BP or he might start his minor-league rehab.

RHP Brad Boxberger (oblique) threw 15 pitches in his first bullpen session since his injury. RHP Alex Colome (right medial biceps tendinitis) played catch at 90 feet. Whitley threw 25 pitches in his live BP session.

Motter's school spirit: UTL Taylor Motter, who played three seasons at Coastal Carolina, knelt in shallow rightfield as his teammates warmed up for batting practice and watched on the video board as the Chanticleers hung on for a 4-3 victory against Arizona to win the College World Series.

"That was nerve-wracking," Motter said.

Motter, the only former CC player in the major leagues, tossed his glove in the air and pulled off his hooded sweatshirt to reveal a teal Coastal Carolina T-shirt when the last out was recorded.

"That would have been a terrible way to end the season for them, seeing it was their first time there," Motter said. "I'm just glad they got through it."

How about Stamkos: 3B Evan Longoria, who signed a six-year, $100 million extension with the Rays in 2012, was asked about the eight-year, $68 million contract signed Wednesday by Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.

"I think it says a lot about what our players think about the community, the Tampa Bay community, and how special it is to be counted as an athlete here," Longoria said. "I know that Stammer probably had the opportunity to go wherever he wanted to go, especially being from Toronto and Toronto being as big of a hockey town as it is. I'm sure they didn't make it easy for him to walk away from them. It just shows how far we've come. How important the Tampa Bay community is to him and to all of us."

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