UPDATE, 6:47: Escobar said he feels better, but won't do anything today, and doesn't expect to be out long. Maddon said Escobar is not available tonight, and likely won't play Friday, but shouldn't be out much longer. Zobrist will be the shortstop in his absence, they prefer him over Rodriguez.
DEVELOPING: SS Yunel Escobar is not in the Rays starting lineup tonight after leaving Wednesday's game with tightness in his right hamstring.
But several teammates said Escobar told them he won't be out long.
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"It's for precaution,'' said RHP Joel Peralta, who has served at times as Escobar's translator. "It might be today only, that's what he told me.''
Ben Zobrist will start at shortstop tonight, and said Escobar also told him it would not be a long absence.
Zobrist said he felt comfortable going back to short, where he played most of the second half of last season and made a couple of spring appearances.