Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Sean Rodriguez punches locker, breaks hand in minors

RECOMMENDED READING


ARLINGTON, Texas — Though sent down to Triple A for a short stint until Saturday's roster expansion, INF Sean Rodriguez still figured to get considerable playing time for the Rays in September and possibly the playoffs.

But Rodriguez's season may be over after he fractured his right hand punching a locker in frustration following Sunday's game at Durham.

"Definitely the dumbest thing I've ever done," Rodriguez said by phone.

The extent of the fracture, and length of Rodriguez's absence, should be known today after an exam in St. Petersburg by team hand specialist Dr. Doug Carlan.

Rodriguez said he is confident the break, which showed up on an X-ray, is not severe since he has been able to move his hand, and he hopes to be able to return to action soon.

"I'm hoping I'm ready in a week," Rodriguez said. "I don't think it's as bad as it seems."

Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't know all the details but sounded disappointed while talking about Rodriguez's potential role following his planned Saturday recall.

"It was all set up and everything was there," Maddon said. "It's just unfortunate this happened. Especially against left-handed pitchers, he's a big part of what we do here. Maybe it's not as bad as I'm hearing, but then again it could be and he may end up missing the rest of the season. I'm just not sure."

Rodriguez refused to say what prompted the uncharacteristic outburst, only that it involved a comment made after the game by a teammate, whom he would not identify. Rodriguez had had a good day, going 2-for-4 including a home run off the bull above the leftfield fence to win a steak dinner for himself and a fan.

"I didn't want it to escalate, so I took my frustration out this way," he said. "It was a bad idea."

NIEMANN READY: RHP Jeff Niemann rejoined the Rays, saying his right hand felt "10 times" better than it did Saturday when he was struck by a line drive during his fourth and final rehab start.

Niemann, out since mid May when he was struck by a line drive that broke his right leg, is planning to throw a bullpen session today, and if all goes well he will be cleared to return to active duty, though he won't be activated until Saturday.

Given how frustrated and concerned he was last Saturday night waiting for the X-ray results, Niemann didn't mind waiting a little longer.

"Right now I'm happy my hand feels good and I'm able to throw a baseball," he said. "I feel ready to go."

Maddon said the Rays were still working on a plan to get Niemann involved, though he made it clear RHP Alex Cobb will keep his rotation spot. "He's going to start," Maddon said.

Also, they've decided at this point to keep the rotation in order, with Cobb starting Wednesday, LHP Matt Moore Thursday and RHP Jeremy Hellickson Friday, all on an extra day's rest thanks to Sunday's day off. That could line Niemann up to pitch Saturday and allow LHP David Price and RHP James Shields to also get an extra day's rest. Maddon said part of the discussion is setting the rotation up for the rest of the month.

LINING UP: With the Rangers starting LHP Derek Holland, Maddon wanted as many right-handed batters as he could, so fielded a somewhat unusual — well, relatively — lineup, keeping Evan Longoria in the DH spot and using Jeff Keppinger at first and Elliot Johnson at third, his first start there since May 1. Longoria is set to be at third tonight with Luke Scott at DH vs. RHP Yu Darvish.

MISCELLANY: Double-A Montgomery C Mayo Acosta was put on the DL after his right ankle was fractured in a home plate collision Sunday. … Short-season Class A Hudson Valley had a nine-game winning streak snapped Monday.

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17