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Rays journal: Good and bad injury news

Rays third baseman Matt Duffy is expected back in the lineup Saturday after leaving a game Tuesday with hamstring tightness.  [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
Rays third baseman Matt Duffy is expected back in the lineup Saturday after leaving a game Tuesday with hamstring tightness. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published May 19, 2018|Updated May 19, 2018

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays are planning to have 3B Matt Duffy back in the lineup Saturday for the first time since he left Tuesday's game with right hamstring tightness.

Which will be good for them since they seem set to be headed toward placing SS Adeiny Hechavarria on the disabled list after he left Thursday's game with a similar problem.

Though Hechavarria said he felt better Friday than when he felt the pinching and pull running to first base, he acknowledged he was still quite sore.

"Probably not the best news,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't think he came in feeling that great. We want to try to give it one more day and see if he can recover quicker.''

That seems unlikely, but with Duffy, who had only to pass the test Friday of running the bases, the Rays seem to have the infield covered, with Daniel Robertson stepping in at shortstop and call-up Christian Arroyo able to play third, second and short.

So if Hechavarria does go on the DL, the Rays may opt — once again — to add an extra arm to their bullpen.

Medical matters

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (arthroscopic elbow surgery) had a solid slightly delayed third rehab outing, throwing 47 pitches (35 strikes) over three innings for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, allowing two hits (one homer) striking out four, hitting 99 mph on the stadium gun. He will work out with the Stone Crabs for a few days and then the Rays will decide if he makes a planned fourth rehab start or rejoins them, potentially as soon as Wednesday against the Red Sox. … RHP Yonny Chirinos (forearm strain) threw a bullpen session Friday and advances next to live batting practice Monday.

New look for Archer

RHP Chris Archer popped on some slick looking Tom Ford eyeglasses for his postgame interview Thursday. Archer said the gold frames, which come with magnetic sunglass lenses as well, were "all for style" as of now, but he plans will have prescription lenses put in given that he has an astigmatism in his right eye that is an issue for reading and up close work. He said he has no problem seeing things at distances, certainly 60 feet, 6 inches, as his left eye takes over. … Archer had reason to be pleased after a strong outing  in the 7-1 win, following a rough stretch. "I'm not saying his confidence is down but I think he should feel really good and maybe (this is) something to build off of,'' Cash said.

Quote of the day

"What a box to check off to be a starting pitcher in a major-league baseball game. … I'm going to make it memorable that's for sure.''

— RHP Sergio Romo, on making Saturday's start for the Rays after 588 relief outings.

Number of the day

603 Consecutive games started by Rays pitchers under 30 years old, a streak going back to July 3, 2014 (Erik Bedard), that will end Saturday when Romo, 35, takes the hill

Miscellany

• Though LHP Anthony Banda is lined up to start Sunday, manager Kevin Cash said there were "a lot of different scenarios that could play out" and a final decision won't be made until after Saturday's game.

• Through mutual friends, Giants standout and controversial WR Odell Beckham Jr. was at Angel Stadium as a guest of Rays LHP Blake Snell and took a quick round of batting practice wearing a throwback Devil Rays jersye. His form was a little interesting, but he made solid contact.

• Two-way prospect LHP Brendan McKay made a dazzling debut in his first pitching assignment following his promotion from Class A Bowling Green to the Stone Crabs, coming in after Nathan Eovaldi and throwing five innings, allowing just one hit while striking out five.

• 1B/DH C.J. Cron went into play Friday having homered in his last three games  but failed to get to four. No Ray had homered in four straight since Evan Longoria in 2016.

* INF Daniel Robertson extended his streak of reaching base to eight straight times, one shy of the team record, before striking  out in the sixth.

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