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. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  2. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern


    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  3. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  4. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways on Wednesday's Rays-A's game

    The Heater

    Jake Faria wasn't going straight to Cooperstown at 500-0, so a day like Wednesday was going to happen, when he made too many mistakes. The challenge now is how he responds. Incidental casualty: His first loss in nine starts since getting engaged.