The Rays and new SS Matt Duffy are talking about him having season-ending surgery to address the ongoing soreness in his left foot stemming from an earlier Achilles strain, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
A decision is expected fairly soon, with the priority being to make sure Duffy is 100 percent ready for spring training. The procedure would involve shaving down Duffy's heel bone to reduce irritation and inflammation with the Achilles.
"We've talked about it,'' Duffy said. "It's something that's a possibility. It's just nothing set in stone right now.''
Duffy was out of the lineup again on Monday due to soreness, having playing three straight games on the hard Trop turf, which clearly seems to be an irritating factor.
"It's sore,'' he said. "The soreness seems to come on a little quicker when we're at home.''
The Rays had been trying to limit him to four or five straight games, but Monday was the fourth time he didn't play shortstop in the last seven days (including Thursday's off-day.)
Brad Miller, who was shifted to first base when the Rays acquired Duffy on Aug. 1, moved back to shortstop on Monday, and manager Kevin Cash curiously said Miller would get additional playing time there during the final month. That would make more sense if Duffy were out of action.
Duffy said the surgery has been a possibility since he was first sidelined in mid-June while playing for the Giants, and injured at the Trop. He was on the DL when acquired by the Rays, and made his debut Aug. 12 after some rehab games.
The idea of shutting Duffy down for the season and having the procedure done sooner rather than waiting until after the season is to give him more recovery time.
"That's probably a conversation that's going to be had here real soon,'' Duffy said. "The only thing would be the recovery time. We want to be 100 percent sure that we're ready to go by next season. I guess that's one of the concerns.''
Duffy has played well at short when available, and is hitting .284 in 21 games for the Rays with one homer, seven RBIs and a .673 OPS.