TORONTO — 1B Carlos Peña was upset when he got hints Thursday night and official word Friday morning that he was being placed on the disabled list. He felt his right foot, in which he tore the planar fascia ligament on Saturday, was getting better and he was just a day or two from returning to the field.
"Believe me, I was not too happy this morning," he said before Friday's game, "and I'm not thrilled about it (now)."
But as the Rays laid out their case, which included using his roster spot to add RHP Dale Thayer to the bullpen, he started seeing it their way: that it was better to take a week off now and return at 100 percent (or close to it) than to play hurt for the rest of the season; that he was at risk of hurting something else as he compensated for this injury and that the bullpen really needed a fresh arm.
"When I objectively look at it," Peña said, "I know they're trying to protect me. They're trying to protect the team. And they're trying to protect our season."
Peña, with the move backdated to Aug. 1, will be eligible to return Aug. 16, the opening of a three-game series with American League West-leading Texas, and expects to be fully healed by then.
"The best way to describe it is he could play (the remaining) eight weeks with a little bit of a hobble; kind of a very painful eight weeks," manager Joe Maddon said. "Whereas if we really take our time right now, it could be seven weeks where he feels pretty good."
With Peña out, expect to see Dan Johnson (against right-handers) and Ben Zobrist (against lefties) at first base.
Thayer, surprised when he got word after Triple-A Durham's Thursday night rainout to head to Toronto, was 2-1, 3.35 with three saves in 37 games.
His stay might be short as RHP Andy Sonnanstine is eligible to come off the DL today and was in the clubhouse after the game.
Maddon said the need to bolster the bullpen was equally part of the decision as giving Peña more time to heal.
C.C. RESTING: Maddon gave LF Carl Crawford the night off, citing the chance to rest him in the midst of the 20-games-in-20-days stretch, including three more games on turf after 11 at home, as well as the matchup with tough lefty Brett Cecil.
"I just think he needs a day," Maddon said.
WADING IN: RHP Wade Davis told the Rays he felt fine Friday, the day after a disappointing performance that raised questions about his health given a noticeable decline in velocity.
According to Maddon, Davis just had a hard time getting loose for the 12:10 p.m. game: "Nothing bothered him. Nothing hurt. He just had that little moment where he had a hard time getting loose as he normally does and then he did."
JESSE OUT: Dixie Hollins High product Jesse Litsch was supposed to pitch today against the Rays, for whom he used to be a bat boy. Instead, Litsch is facing season-ending surgery next week to repair a long-standing tear in his right hip labrum; that after making only nine starts (1-5, 5.79) after recovering from 2009 Tommy John surgery.
"I'm glad I got back," he said, "but sad I'm going."
MINOR MATTERS: 1B/OF Leslie Anderson, a Cuban defector signed during spring training, and LHP Jake McGee, a top prospect who came back from 2008 Tommy John elbow surgery, were promoted from Double-A Montgomery to Triple A. … DH Rocco Baldelli went 1-for-5 with a single for Class A Charlotte.
MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria continues to struggle, now 9-for-52 (.173) over his past 15 games. … The Rays are 4-14 on Fridays. … RHP Matt Garza logged his third complete game of the season. … The Rays need wins today and Sunday to extend their nine-series win streak over the Jays, fifth longest against a division opponent in the AL since division play began in 1969. The Red Sox won 12 straight over the O's. … Maddon is likely to start C Kelly Shoppach again today in hopes facing lefties on back-to-back days gets his bat going.