ST. PETERSBURG ― Rays third baseman Matt Duffy hoped to be ready for the season opener after struggling with a hamstring injury. Now it looks as if he will be out for about six more weeks.
A back injury that Duffy says is “more of a disc issue,’’ coupled with the hamstring problem, will keep him off the field for longer than expected. Duffy said the training staff knew about his leg injury, but he was hoping the back would get better on its own.
After playing in some minor league games prior to the start of the season, Duffy met with Rays trainers.
“They mentioned that they wanted to look at my back just in case something was going on there,’’ Duffy said. “I said ‘Funny you should ask. I’ve been feeling it for a couple of months.’ A lot of it is my fault for not saying anything about it.’’
Duffy, who played in 132 games in 2018 and hit .294, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday. The hope was to have him available for the April 5-7 series in San Francisco. Those plans are now scratched.
The Rays will use a rotation of Daniel Robertson, Yandy Diaz and Joey Wendle at third base. Robertson started at third on Sunday against the Astros.
“The back thing kind of popped up before spring training, working out,’’ Duffy said. “I thought (the hamstring injury) were unrelated things, and in a way they are unrelated but they are not helping each other.
“It’s part of the game. It’s frustrating.’’