Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Hideki Matsui tweaks hamstring, doesn't expect to miss any time

ST. PETERSBURG — RF Hideki Matsui left Monday's game with left hamstring tightness in the second inning.

Matsui said he may miss a few days, but he doesn't think he'll need to go on the disabled list.

Matsui, 38, starting in the outfield for the second straight day, said he thought he pulled something when chasing a Derek Jeter foul ball and came out for precautionary reasons.

"Right now, I feel like it's calmed down," Matsui said through interpreter Roger Kahlon. "I think it just tightened up."

He was replaced in the cleanup spot by Jeff Keppinger, who went to third base, with Will Rhymes going to second and Ben Zobrist to right.

Matsui, hitting .177 this season, had misplayed a Mark Teixeira fly ball in the first inning that dropped in and turned into an RBI double.

"Typically, when a right-hander hits a ball like that, it tends to drift into the foul area," Matsui said. "So I took my eyes off just for a moment, and then when I looked back the ball had actually come back and so by that time I couldn't react to it and missed the ball."

hellickson ready: RHP Jeremy Hellickson tested his bruised right shin in his usual between-starts bullpen session Monday afternoon, saying he felt good and expects to make his next start Thursday in Cleveland.

Hellickson used his full repertoire in a 40-pitch session, saying the injury didn't affect the way he threw.

"It was normal," he said. "It's still a little sore, but it's tolerable, and I threw my bullpen just fine."

Hellickson was pulled from Saturday's start in the third after getting struck with a line drive by Tigers 1B Prince Fielder. He felt lucky it didn't strike a bone and has felt better each day.

"It's night and day today than compared to yesterday," Hellickson said. "Hopefully, tomorrow it'll be even better."

Manager Joe Maddon said he'll wait to hear from head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield before saying for sure that Hellickson will start Thursday, but all signs are encouraging. The Rays must be confident, as Hellickson's potential replacement, RHP Chris Archer, started for Triple-A Durham on Monday night.

JOYCE CLOSE: OF Matt Joyce reported considerable improvement in his strained oblique and thinks he could return for the Cleveland series. Joyce hit in the cage Monday and felt good enough that he plans to take regular batting practice on the field today. If all goes well he'll start a brief rehab stint on Wednesday.

"I feel great, no issues," Joyce said. "That's good news, I'm excited. I feel like I could play today."

The question for the Rays will be whether it's worth bringing him back for two or three games in Cleveland or let him get four extra days of rest through the All-Star break. Joyce is confident he'll be ready to face the Indians. "I feel that way, it's just a matter if they want me to," he said.

MISCELLANY: OF Sam Fuld (right wrist surgery) will start a rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte on Saturday in Jupiter. … Senior adviser Don Zimmer, feeling better now that he's on regular dialysis treatments, was at the Trop for a fifth straight day. … The Rays signed Venezuelan RHP Jose Mujica, the No. 3 international prospect, for $1 million. They also agreed to terms with C David Rodriguez (No. 14), according to Baseball America.

MINOR MATTERS: Triple-A Durham C Stephen Vogt (concussion-like symptoms) was placed on the disabled list, and RHP Jhonny Nunez was released by the Rays. Durham OF/1B Brandon Allen (family matter) returned from the temporary inactive list.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Published: 04/18/18
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was all smiles Wednesday morning, happy to play a role through social media in reuniting a lost dog and its owner."I feel really good about how this worked out," Baldelli said.REUNITED! Thank you everyone for spreading the w...
Published: 04/18/18
For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 12:01: Cash said Brad Miller (groin) got through his rehab game with the Stone Crabs well last night playing first and will play second tonight, with the likely plan to be off Thursday and rejoin the Rays Friday. … With 3B Matt Duffy on...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

ST. PETERSBURG — For three outings, rookie Yonny Chirinos had been stellar in making a case to join the Rays' starting rotation, not allowing a single run in the first 141/3 innings of his major-league career.That perfection came to an inevitab...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

Rays journal: Rays play it safe, put Matt Duffy on DL with hamstring injury

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Duffy is back on the disabled list.The Rays third baseman, who missed all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after leaving Monday's game in the first inning with t...
Published: 04/17/18
Rays takeaways: Just one bad outing, a rangey outfield, a sharp ex-Ray

Rays takeaways: Just one bad outing, a rangey outfield, a sharp ex-Ray

Yonny Chirinos may still be an answer as the Rays look to fill out their rotation. He probably stayed in a little too long Tuesday, trailing 2-1 entering the fifth but giving up four runs the rest of the way. Bad starts caught up to him in the first,...
Published: 04/17/18
Rays-Rangers lineup: Matt Duffy to DL, Brandon Snyder up

Rays-Rangers lineup: Matt Duffy to DL, Brandon Snyder up

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where another day brings another round of injury-related transactions for the Rays.Third baseman Matt Duffy, who left Monday's game with tightness in his right hamstring, has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, ta...
Published: 04/17/18