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' Upton suffers arm bruise after plunking

The Rays’ B.J. Upton, who was moved to DH to prevent him from playing in a soggy outfield, winces as assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker examines his arm after being hit by a pitch.

Associated Press

The Rays’ B.J. Upton, who was moved to DH to prevent him from playing in a soggy outfield, winces as assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker examines his arm after being hit by a pitch.

WINTER HAVEN — Though CF B.J. Upton left Thursday's game in the first inning after getting hit by a pitch, X-rays on his left arm proved negative and he suffered just a tricep bruise.

The Rays believe Upton will be fine, saying he is day to day, but the injury could temporarily challenge the club's already-depleted outfield depth.

Upton was plunked just above the elbow by Indians RHP Paul Byrd, and was grimacing in pain as he slowly walked to first base. Assistant trainer Paul Harker walked Upton to first, then back to the clubhouse for treatment.

"I don't think it's anything serious," manager Joe Maddon said. "It hit him in a bad spot, where it can swell up very quickly — which it did. He just couldn't get a good feel or grip or close his fist."

Ironically, Maddon had pulled a pregame lineup switch, putting Upton at DH to play it safe when a large rain puddle left the middle of centerfield soggy and spongy; the Indians made Grady Sizemore a late scratch, likely for the same reason. Jon Weber replaced Upton in center (going 3-for-5 with a homer). RF Jonny Gomes played the last half of the 4-4 tie in center and could be an additional option if the Rays don't land a backup centerfielder.

ROTATION BATTLE: RHP Jason Hammel, who gave up three runs and four hits in just over four innings (86 pitches) Thursday, said he feels he hasn't made as strong a case as other candidates for the final rotation spots. There are five Rays, including RHPs Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson and Jeff Niemann, along with LHP J.P. Howell, in what Maddon calls a "close" battle for three remaining slots. Sonnanstine (today) and Howell (Saturday) will start the next two games, with Maddon saying the final decision could come Sunday. Like Jackson, Hammel (0-1 with a 7.64 ERA in four spring starts) is out of options, so he's likely to make the team no matter what. But Maddon was pleased to hear Hammel's taking accountability in his self-evaluation.

"Honestly, those other guys have thrown better than me," Hammel said. "I know I haven't pitched to my potential, and I'm going to. But up until this point, I can definitely do better."

INJURY REPORT: Ace LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow strain) didn't throw Thursday, making it more than a week since he was last on the mound. … 2B Akinori Iwamura left Thursday's game in the third after feeling back tightness, but Maddon said he plans to play Iwamura tonight. … 3B Willy Aybar (sore left hamstring), the likely starter if prospect Evan Longoria is sent down, could play tonight against the Yankees. … Maddon said backup catcher candidate Shawn Riggans (bruised left hand) could play Saturday.

TOP CREW TO TAMPA: Pretty much all the Rays regulars are traveling to tonight's game with the Yankees, including Gomes, who certainly garnered his share of attention from Yankees fans for charging in from rightfield after Shelley Duncan's hard slide in the March 12 brawl game. Maddon had held out Gomes from Saturday's game against the Yankees, wanting to let the situation "cool down." But Maddon said, things now are "pretty chilly."

MISCELLANY: According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Rays offered a major-league contract for more than $1-million to Kenny Lofton, and the soon-to-be 41-year-old deemed it not good enough despite not having better options at this time. … RHP James Shields, the opening day starter who would make his second regular-season start against the Yankees, will pitch today at the minor-league complex (Dioner Navarro will catch). … Navarro had a homer and double hitting in the No. 2 slot.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Rays' Upton suffers arm bruise after plunking 03/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2008 1:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 11:01: No Dickerson today as the Rays go with seven right-handers.

    Here is the lineup:

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]