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Tampa Bay Rays adviser Don Zimmer hospitalized for kidney problem

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer has been hospitalized for the past week due to kidney problems and has to start dialysis treatment immediately.

"His kidneys are bad," son Tom Zimmer said Wednesday. "But dialysis is something you can get for a long time. He's going to be fine."

Zimmer, 81, has been hospitalized three times over the past five weeks for varied reasons, including a "diabetic-type episode." He is expected to be released today.

"It's been one thing after another," Tom Zimmer said. "He's looking better right now."

Zimmer has not been at Tropicana Field since the opening weekend. Tom Zimmer said once his father gets comfortable with the dialysis schedule and routine, he should be back with the Rays.

"I imagine he's going to want to come down there as soon as he can," Tom Zimmer said. "We'll see how it goes."

UPTON OUT: CF B.J. Upton left the game after five innings due to tightness in his right quad, but manager Joe Maddon said it was not a major concern.

"It's nothing serious, it really is not,'' he said. "He just cramped up a little bit.''

Upton seemed to be walking fine and said it was "no big deal" on his way to the trainers' room after getting dressed. With a matinee today, though, he is unlikely to be in the lineup.

SOCK IT TO HIM: RHP Kyle Farnsworth felt good the day after testing his strained right elbow for the first time by throwing — albeit with the ball in a sock to minimize movement. "Everything went well," he said. "It's a step forward."

Farnsworth's earliest return date was pushed back to June 5 when the club moved him to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday, but he said that was in line with his original timetable anyway so it shouldn't be seen as a delay.

SOME RHYMES REASON: Will Rhymes, promoted Tuesday from Triple A, made his first big-league start, and appearance, at third base, part of what Maddon said is likely to be a "revolving door" of replacements for injured Evan Longoria.

Maddon also said he is most comfortable with Sean Rodriguez at third and might shift him there and put Elliot Johnson at shortstop when he plays.

Rhymes handled himself at third but moved to second, his natural position, in a six-player shuffle after Upton left.

MATSUI MANIA: Hideki Matsui took the field as a Ray for the first time Wednesday morning with the extended spring training squad in Port Charlotte, with nearly 40 of his friends from the Japanese media watching.

Matsui made a solid impression by taking part in the full workout. "I can't remember the last time we had a major-leaguer participate in a baserunning drill in extended spring training," field coordinator Bill Evers said.

Matsui will play a few games for the extended spring team, then report to Durham. "It feels different once you actually join a team and then get after it," he said through his interpreter. "I just want to slide in and join in with whatever the team is doing."

LEGAL MATTER: A Charlotte County judge is expected to decide today whether to reduce the $1.015 million bail for minor-league RHP Matt Bush, jailed on charges stemming from his March 22 DUI hit-and-run case.

MISCELLANY: RHP James Shields' 11 strikeouts were three off David Price's team record. … Shields and his wife, Ryane, will cut the ribbon at tonight's Heart Gallery "Celebrate Me Home" event. … The bullpen is 2-0, 1.45 with five saves in the past 10 games. … Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki's 10 putouts were one shy of the MLB record for rightfielders (Oakland's Tony Armas, 1982).

Tampa Bay Rays adviser Don Zimmer hospitalized for kidney problem 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:22am]

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