Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose Brandon Guyer for season, Desmond Jennings' return delayed

BOSTON — Just when it seemed like the Rays were about to start getting healthy came news Friday that OF Brandon Guyer will miss the rest of the season due to pending shoulder surgery and that OF Desmond Jennings is likely going to be out another week.

Guyer, 26, had been sidelined with what the Rays called a left shoulder strain that didn't seem like a major issue when it occurred as he took swings in the batting cage May 13, and he was eligible to come off the disabled list Monday. But subsequent tests and exams revealed a torn labrum, in his nonthrowing shoulder, and he will have surgery Thursday.

"When it happened, we just didn't know," manager Joe Maddon said. "It was one of those things you talked to him about it and it was never a strong feeling one way or the other, let's get more opinions, and then finally it's gotten to this point."

Guyer had a rough start to his season at Triple A that he attributed to the fallout from his truck being used by RHP Matt Bush in DUI hit-and-run accidents. Then he played in only three games for the Rays after his May 9 promotion before being hurt.

Jennings had been progressing well in recovery from a left knee sprain, and it sounded earlier this week like he would be ready shortly after his Sunday eligibility date. But Maddon said Jennings would first increase his amount of baseball activities, then go on a short minor-league rehab and possibly rejoin the team by the end of next week.

The rehab assignment doesn't need to include a lot of at-bats, he said. "I don't think it needs to be a heavy number; just get out there and feel good about your knee."

1B/OF Brandon Allen, who was eligible to come off the DL (right quad strain) Friday, will continue his rehab assignment at least through the weekend. In his first seven games at advanced Class A Charlotte, he has hit .240 (6-for-25).

It will be interesting to see what the Rays do with Allen, who is out of options and can't be sent to the minors without being passed through waivers, which is how the Rays got him from Oakland. C Jose Lobaton (right shoulder) is also continuing his rehab at Triple-A Durham.

MATSUI MANIA: There was considerable chatter about Hideki Matsui joining the team this weekend, but Maddon said the "general consensus" was that he was "just not quite ready yet, but he's getting real close."

That decision, Maddon said, extended well beyond Matsui's stats line at Triple-A Durham, where he hit .189 (7-for-37) in his first 10 games (went 3-for-4 Friday). He was in the outfield for a second straight night, which also is important since DH Luke Scott isn't ready to play the field.

"(Matsui is) doing well," Maddon said. "Don't worry about a batting average. He's feeling good, he's getting better, he's seeing the ball and all that kind of stuff, but he's just not quite ready yet."

Maddon said the Rays did not have a set number of at-bats in mind. "Basically, as many as he thinks he needs," Maddon said. "I don't think it's what I think or what any minor-league manager thinks. I think it is what he thinks and how he feels."

MISCELLANY: Maddon said he started Sean Rodriguez at second, with Drew Sutton at third and Elliot Johnson at short, to maximize their defense behind Alex Cobb, who is a ground ball pitcher. … Tonight's game is part of the Fox (Ch. 13) national broadcast but will have a Rays accent as regular analyst Brian Anderson will join Dick Stockton in the booth. …LHP David Price starts tonight of sound arm and body: "I feel good where I am right now on the mound." … The Rays are tied with Baltimore for the most errors (42) in the American League.

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