Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist likely to miss at least one more game with minor neck injury

ST. PETERSBURG — Ben Zobrist wasn't in the lineup Saturday and could be out again today due to a nagging neck injury, but it isn't considered serious.

Zobrist said his neck stiffened up the past few days, likely due to overswinging, leading to him getting pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of Friday's 3-2 loss to Baltimore. He felt he needed just one day off and was available as a pinch-hitter, but manager Joe Maddon said they might hold him out today, too.

"I'm fine," Zobrist said. "I just kind of needed a day off anyway, I think."

Zobrist, one of the team's top hitters, said he first noticed it after he swung and "felt it grab a little bit."

"I'm just overswinging probably and that's kind of been common with me," he said. "If I do a little bit too much, that's probably what happens. Just take a day off and go from there."

A neck issue hampered Zobrist last season, but he said this one is not as bad.

"No major concerns," Maddon said. "It bothers him with his swing, something that's reminiscent from last year, although not nearly as impactful as it was last year."

NOT DONE YET: The Rays have been careful in monitoring and managing the innings of rookie RHP Jeremy Hellickson.

But Maddon said they want to also make sure to stretch Hellickson out so that he can handle a bigger jump in his workload next year. Hellickson, who has logged 155⅓ innings, is expecting to be done after making the 20 percent jump from last year's 154, which likely will be around 180 innings.

Hellickson said he feels "night and day" better than he did at this point last season.

"The more innings I throw this year, the easier it'll be next year," he said. "I feel great right now, arm feels good, body feels good. … Actually, my fastball felt as good as it has all year last game. When your fastball feels like it did last game, you're more confident in everything."

JUST LIKE JONNY: INF Sean Rodriguez got hit by his 14th pitch in the first inning Friday night, tying Jonny Gomes (2005) for the single-season club record. And Maddon said there are some similarities between the players.

"The biggest thing is, there are certain guys who are not afraid to get hit by the ball, and they're definitely willing to take a base or get on base," Maddon said. "And Jonny was like that, Sean is like that. … There are certain guys, they're not going to give in, getting hit by the pitch there is not such a bad idea. There's pitches I'm sure (Rodriguez) could have gotten away from that he chose not to."

With Rodriguez and Gomes, Maddon says, "They like to play the game hard, they got a little bit of football mentality with the way they play."

IN CLOSING: RHP Kyle Farns­worth earned his 50th career save Saturday night, appearing in a save situation for the first time since Aug. 19.

Twenty-three of those have come with the Rays this season, and Maddon said the veteran has exceeded expectations.

"I think he's been pretty darn impressive," Maddon said. "I really love having him around. … If you take care of him, you can get 30-plus saves out of him, you can get probably 60 innings out of him if you do everything right with him."

Maddon said the confidence Farnsworth has built through the year could serve him well moving into next season. The team holds a $3.3 million option for next season (or a $650,000 buyout).

"What he's done in the past and what he's doing right now are two totally different things," Maddon said. "I had never really seen it, and maybe the industry has not. He's not been this level of consistent to the industry, either."

MISCELLANY: Rodriguez and C Kelly Shoppach will sign autographs along the rightfield wall from noon-12:30 today. … OF Matt Joyce has five RBIs in his past seven games.

Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist likely to miss at least one more game with minor neck injury 09/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 3, 2011 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. 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).
  5. 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]