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Rays journal: Daniel Robertson won’t play the excuse game

Infielder looks to break his slump with execution, not explanations.
Daniel Robertson takes off after his two-out double in the third off Red Sox starter David Price scores Willy Adames and Michael Perez, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
Daniel Robertson takes off after his two-out double in the third off Red Sox starter David Price scores Willy Adames and Michael Perez, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Apr. 22, 2019
Updated Apr. 22, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has gotten off to a tough start offensively, enduring an 0-for-21 slide. But he has now hit safely in three games, including a two-run double Sunday that gave the Rays an early 2-0 lead against the Red Sox.

Robertson said he could explain his struggles, but he’s focusing on simply improving.

“You ever been to CVS? You ever get a receipt from CVS and how long they are? I can give you a list like that of excuses of why I’ve had early season struggles,” Robertson said. “Right now I’m just going to battle through and keep progressing, working.”

Robertson quickly added that he’s more concerned about the team’s performance than his individual efforts.

“Obviously, we just got swept, and that’s what’s more important,” he said. “As a team, we need to get back on board and play good baseball. We’ve got to come back and play good baseball and keep it together. It’s a long season personally, long season for the team. We’ve been tested early in the season, and we’ll have to see how we bounce back.”

Meadows’ status remains uncertain

The Rays did not release additional information on the status of outfielder Austin Meadows after Sunday’s loss to the Red Sox, but a thumb injury has created a huge question mark for one of the team’s top offensive players so far this season.

Meadows was set to see a hand specialist Sunday afternoon after injuring his right thumb sliding into third on a triple during Saturday’s game.

Tampa Bay placed Meadows on the 10-day injured list Sunday morning.

“They saw some damage, but they don’t know how bad it is,” Meadows said. “We’ll see where we’re at later today.

“I slid into third kind of awkwardly. I think I put my right hand down … and the thumb kind of jammed into the base. It was just kind of a freak accident. It didn’t feel too good.”

Meadows’ loss would be significant if he’s out for an extended period. He was named the American League player of the week on April 15 and going into Sunday was leading the Rays in batting average (.351; tied for fifth in AL), home runs (6; tied for seventh) and RBIs (19; fourth).

Asked before the game to compare Meadows’ injury to the 2018 thumb injury that kept centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier out for more than two months, manager Kevin Cash said, “The way it was described to me was Austin’s went straight back, whereas KK and somebody else’s kind of went off to the side.”

The Rays hit a franchise record four triples during Saturday’s game.

Snell update

Don’t look for injured pitcher Blake Snell to pitch in the upcoming three-game series against the Royals.

He’s eligible to come off the injured list Wednesday and while Cash said the ace left-hander is progressing nicely, he’ll have a couple of more throwing sessions on the side before returning to action.

“Blake felt great,” Cash said. “His exact quote was it bothered him more walking than it does throwing off a mound, which is a good sign. So I think he’s slated to play catch in a couple more days, probably have another bullpen and then we’ll figure out where we’re going to put him back in.”

Snell broke the fourth toe on his right foot in a freak accident in his bathroom at home.