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Reyes faces a lengthy delay shuffling begins

BOSTON — RHP Gary Glover went on the disabled list and RHP Jason Hammel was shifted from the rotation to the bullpen, but the biggest news Friday was that reliever Al Reyes may be out for several more weeks.

The Rays had said Reyes, out since April 16 with what was called a shoulder impingement, could have rejoined the bullpen as soon as Friday. But what was supposed to be the last of three rehab assignments Thursday apparently didn't go well, and manager Joe Maddon said Reyes won't be back "anytime soon."

He had an MRI exam Friday and will see Dr. Koco Eaton today in St. Petersburg.

"Reyes is not ready," Maddon said. "He's still experiencing some soreness. The numbers have kind of vacillated in regard to his velocity, but right now he's not feeling up to par."

The Rays have covered Reyes' absence well and still had the majors' best bullpen ERA at 2.44 going into play Friday, but losing Glover, and adding Hammel, who has struggled in relief, could be taxing. Scott Dohmann will have a more prominent role and, with Hammel in long relief, LHP J.P. Howell may be used differently.

Glover, 0-1 with a 1.69 ERA in nine games, was put on the disabled list with right shoulder tendonitis and, with the move backdated to April 26, expects to be back when eligible May 11.

OF Justin Ruggiano was called up to fill his roster spot for two days, then is expected to be sent back to Triple A so LHP Scott Kazmir can be activated to start Sunday.

Glover said his shoulder had been "a little shaky" for a while and he tried to pitch through it, but he had trouble warming up Tuesday. Maddon said he had to convince Glover that resting now would be better for the big picture.

"Hopefully it's something that with a little extra time will nip it in the bud and it will keep me strong for all season long," Glover said.

With Andy Sonnanstine pitching well and Matt Garza better, Hammel, 2-2 with a 4.88 ERA in five starts, seemed most likely to be dropped from the rotation, especially after struggling Tuesday.

"I'm disappointed," Hammel said. "But it's my job to help the team, and if this is the right move for the team I'll gladly do it."

Though Maddon told Hammel to "keep working at it" and that he would likely start again, he also said the decision is not subject to change based on another starter having a bad game.

"Nobody's got to be looking over their shoulders right now," Maddon said. "These guys are going to be out there for a decent period of time and we'll see how it all rolls."

B.J. OKAY: CF B.J. Upton said his left shoulder, painfully strained again Thursday on a swing, "feels great" and he plans to return to the lineup tonight. "I told you (Thursday) it was the best it ever felt right after and it's the same result (Friday)," he said.

Upton has had a similar issue in several seasons but said it usually happens at the end of a season when he is tired. "It feels kind of funny," Upton said. "It hurts initially, but then it just kind of feels like it's not really there."

SAME PLAN: RHP James Shields plans to do the same things against the Sox tonight in another aces-high matchup with Josh Beckett that worked so well Sunday, when he threw a two-hit complete-game shutout.

"I felt I mixed up my pitches well enough last game to where I'll pretty much try to do the same thing," Shields said. "If I see them making adjustments to what I'm doing, then I'm going to change my thought process up during the game."

MISCELLANY: DH/OF Eric Hinske went into play Friday leading the AL with a .627 slugging percentage. … The Rays' plus-30 run differential from the seventh inning on (45-15) was the best in the majors.

Reyes faces a lengthy delay shuffling begins 05/03/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:14am]
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