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 thin at shortstop for a few days

The Rays’ Yunel Escobar is hit by a Jon Garland pitch Saturday and the shortstop still has swelling that will keep him out for a few more days.

Getty Images

The Rays’ Yunel Escobar is hit by a Jon Garland pitch Saturday and the shortstop still has swelling that will keep him out for a few more days.

DENVER — The Rays are suddenly shorthanded at shortstop.

Yunel Escobar is expected to be sidelined until at least Wednesday with a bruised left hand, and Ben Zobrist missed Sunday's 8-3 victory and will be out again tonight following the death of his grandmother.

Sean Rodriguez, who was the opening-day shortstop in 2012, took over, with 3B Evan Longoria likely next in line, if needed, and Ryan Roberts after that.

The Rays could have replaced Zobrist by placing him on MLB's bereavement list, but that requires a minimum three-day stay. So in essence, they decided it was worth playing a man short Sunday (and under National League rules) and again tonight in order to have Zobrist available Tuesday's game.

"We'd rather him back one day sooner on the back side," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think we have enough guys."

Potential replacements if they had put Zobrist on the list likely would have been limited to players on the 40-man roster. So the options, with top SS Hak-Ju Lee out with a knee injury, would have included Tim Beckham if they wanted a middle infielder, but also right-handed hitters C/1B Chris Gimenez and OF Brandon Guyer since the Rays are facing lefty starters tonight and Tuesday.

Maddon questioned the minimum three-day stay on the bereavement list in that it punishes a team for the player not staying away longer.

"That makes no sense," he said. "I think that thinking is actually reversed."

Escobar's left hand, hit by a pitch Saturday, was sore and swollen Sunday. "He didn't sleep well (Saturday night), the hand was banging on him a little bit, but he's in good spirits," Maddon said. "(Trainer Ron Porterfield) thinks maybe three days, something like that."

NO-NO FOR BULLS: RHP Jake Odorizzi worked seven innings, and relievers Frank De Los Santos, Kirby Yates and Jeff Beliveau finished as Triple-A Durham no-hit Pawtucket (Red Sox) in a 2-1 win Sunday.

"Just kind of one of those days where everything goes your way," Odorizzi said from the Providence, R.I., airport. Included was a ninth-inning catch at the wall by CF Rich Thompson. "That was that play you see in every no-hitter," Odorizzi said.

Odorizzi, who threw eight innings in a combined no-hitter in Class A in 2010, said there was some discussion of starting the eighth since he had thrown only 95 pitches, but the coaches decided against it since he would only be allowed to go to 110.

UP-AND-DOWN: RHP Jeremy Hellickson starts tonight seeking to build consistency: "There was a three-game stretch there where I felt as good as I've ever have, and these last two games have been awful, pretty terrible. I've got to make better pitches."

CHANGE-UP: Saturday's postgame decision to change an error on Zobrist, who charged a slowly hit ball and bounced his throw, to a hit added five earned runs to LHP David Price's line, hiking his ERA from 5.24 to 6.25. Coors Field official scorer Dave Plati said after watching replays that he believed Zobrist "double-clutching" as he tried to get the ball out of his glove created a split-second delay that would have allowed Michael Cuddyer to be safe, and thus not an error. Plati said the Rays are appealing the change to MLB.

MISCELLANY: This was the Rays' first series win in four trips to Coors Field. … Sunday was the Rays' first two-error game of the season. … INF Kelly Johnson said in facing his former Jays teammates he is "definitely invested to go out and play hard and try to do everything I can to win." … There was cake in the clubhouse after Saturday's game to mark RHP Fernando Rodney reaching the 10-year service time mark, which vests him fully in the pension plan.

Rays thin at shortstop for a few days 05/05/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 11:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  2. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]