UPDATE, 10:00: Manager Kevin Cash said, "I personally am not overly concerned but I know he is and I’m just frustrated for him, because he’s worked so hard this offseason to put on the weight and he just hasn’t been about to get out there in a consistent rhythm. Knowing Matt and the way he carries himself and the stuff that does preparation-wise, he’ll be fine. But I agree with him, if you feel it it’s probably not the time to play, to push it. Cash said he’s had no talk about Duffy not being ready to open season and isn’t worried about him going on the IL: "I’m still optimistic we can get him enough at-bats once he gets fully healthy.'' If Duffy can’t go, the Rays have several options, including Yandy Diaz, Daniel Robertson and Joey Wendle. "That’s the nice thing, we’ve got a lot of options,'' Cash said.
DEVELOPING: Just when third baseman Matt Duffy said his hamstring issues were behind him and he was ready to return to the Rays lineup, he was not.
Duffy was scratched from today’s lineup, and acknowledged time is running short to be able to open the season on the active roster.
Duffy ran the bases several times last week, including Friday morning, and told the team and reporters he was good to go, but then reconsidered when he felt soreness Friday afternoon.
"Nothing “happened,” I just don’t quite feel like I’m there yet,'' Duffy said this morning. "It’s obviously frustrating. It kind of just feels like we’re getting close and we rip off the scab, That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s not a major setback certainly. But I can’t go out there in a game knowing I’m not quite ready and risk - even if it does get to the point where, and I’m not saying we’re there quite yet, we’re getting close - but even if it does get to the point where I’ve got to start the season on the DL (now the injured list), that’s better than having this be a couple month thing. It’s taken a lot for me to be pretty smart about it and not push it because I feel pretty good and I want to play but it’s not quite there yet.''
Duffy being out could have a trickle down effect on the Rays plans, as they would have to consider either using Yandy Diaz or Daniel Robertson at third.