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 shortstop Elliot Johnson out at least a few days with knee sprain

DETROIT — SS Elliot Johnson is expected to be sidelined at least a few days and possibly for an extended period after spraining his left knee during a slide.

With Johnson out, the Rays will be down to Sean Rodriguez playing shortstop, as Reid Brignac is on bereavement leave following the death of his grandfather and is not expected back until Friday.

Johnson was hurt on an awkward slide in the fifth, stayed in another inning and ended up at an area hospital for an MRI exam.

The good news, he said, is that "it's nothing serious," no tear or structural damage. The bad news is that there is a sprain of the capsule around the knee, and that "walking on it right now is a chore and bending it is the problem. They told me I'll probably be off of it for the next few days for sure, and after that I don't really know," he said.

FEELING GOOD: RHP James Shields had a lot to feel good about Sunday after what he and manager Joe Maddon said was probably the best start of his career, logging a three-hit shutout while tying the team single-game strikeout record of 13.

But he felt even better during the flight to Detroit when Rick Vaughn, team VP of communications, informed him that on his final batter he'd surpassed Scott Kazmir's franchise strikeout mark with 875.

"I think that's pretty special, especially being with this organization for the last 11 years,'' Shields said. "To be able to be a franchise player from Day 1, it's pretty special. These guys stuck with me for a long time, and to be able to do that really means a lot."

Shields ended up with the ball as a memento of the record-setting strikeout (of Gaby Sanchez), though almost by happenstance since it was the final out of the game and C Kelly Shoppach flipped it to him.

But there is one thing odd about the accomplishment.

"I truly don't believe I'm a strikeout pitcher," Shields said. "I feel like I'm a ground ball pitcher. I like to go deep into games, and I'm a workhorse in that sense. In order to go deep into games, you can't really strike too many guys out. If you strike everyone out, your pitch count goes up."

Shields needed 1,0541/3 innings, over 162 games, to amass his 875 strikeouts. Kazmir got 874 in 834 innings over 145 games.

ALSO WORTH NOTING: Shields became the second AL pitcher to throw a shutout and drive in the winning run since the advent of interleague play in 1997. The other was Toronto's Kelvim Escobar vs. Cincinnati in June 2003. … Shields is the first to strike out at least 13 and walk one or none in a shutout in an interleague game and the fifth to do so in the past 10 years. … He also took over the franchise lead with his fourth shutout.

GOOD HANDS PEOPLE: The Rays matched the 2010 Twins' record of going 48 games into a season without making multiple errors. There have been 30 players who have had two errors in a game.

PITCHING IN: Maddon said RHP Andy Sonnanstine is locked in to make his fourth start in place of injured RHP Jeff Niemann on Wednesday, and Maddon hopes a talk about Sonnanstine's previous success, specifically his 13-win 2008 season, helps. "I just wanted to remind him of some things he's gotten away from, and he concurred," Maddon said. "So we'll see how it works out on Wednesday."

Niemann (lower back strain) has started playing catch. With several weeks of throwing off the mound and a couple of rehab starts in front of him, he is looking at a mid- to late-June return.

MISCELLANY: OF Justin Ruggiano was to be in the lineup in leftfield but had to be scratched due to what Maddon politely described as "gastrointestinal distress" and was replaced by Sam Fuld. … Felipe Lopez made his second career big-league start, and fourth appearance, at first base.

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Elliot Johnson out at least a few days with knee sprain 05/23/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.