Rays' Loney goes on disabled list for first time in his career

James Loney, the eighth Rays player this season to land on the disabled list, is expected to miss the minimum with a mild right oblique strain.
James Loney, the eighth Rays player this season to land on the disabled list, is expected to miss the minimum with a mild right oblique strain.
Published Apr. 9, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — In nine major-league seasons, 1B James Loney had never suffered an injury serious enough to land him on the disabled list. Now he's just one of eight men out.

But before you think the Rays' season is going to DL in a hand basket, there is encouraging news. Loney has what the team is calling a mild right oblique strain and should return after his 15-day stint ends.

Loney said he felt pain in his right side in the opening day loss to the Orioles on Monday, and it was worse Tuesday. Manager Kevin Cash said an MRI exam revealed a "hot spot," but he believes they caught it in time.

"You never want to be dealing with an injury during the season. I wish it would've happened during spring training," said Loney, who missed six weeks with a broken finger in 2004 with Class A Jacksonville (Dodgers).

OF Brandon Guyer had a similar issue in spring training and was back in less than two weeks. More severe strains can lead to four- to six-week DL stays.

"It's minor, but it's one of those things where you don't want him to try to get treatment for a day or two and go play through it and it really becomes stiff," Cash said.

Loney is the eighth Rays player since the start of the season to go on the disabled list, which reads like a Rays fantasy camp: RHP Alex Cobb, LHP Drew Smyly, LHP Jake McGee, LHP Matt Moore, RHP Alex Colome and INF Nick Franklin. The Rays recalled RHP Burch Smith, who had Tommy John surgery Tuesday, and put him on the 60-day disabled list to gain a roster spot.

The Rays promoted Allan Dykstra, 27, who made his major-league debut, starting at first base and batting eighth.

Dykstra, a first-round pick by the Padres in 2008 who spent the past four years in the Mets organization, was informed of his callup Wednesday morning just minutes before a workout with the Durham Bulls. Rather than take a bus to Gwinnett County, Ga., he was given a plane ticket to Tampa.

"It's been a very special day," said Dykstra, who batted .280 with 16 home runs for Triple-A Las Vegas last season. "I'm blessed to be here. It's been a long journey, and finally all the hard work and faith has paid off."

Meanwhile, the Rays said there was no change with John Jaso, who remains sidelined — except perhaps for pinch-running — due to a bruised left wrist. He seems likely to go on the DL this weekend when the Rays play under NL rules in Miami.

SMYLY IMPROVING: Smyly (shoulder tendinitis) said he was "anxious" to make the first of several rehab starts Thursday for advanced Class A Charlotte, as much to see how he feels in a competitive situation as how he feels the day after the 35-pitch session.

"I want to be back as soon as possible," Smyly said. "Right now it's one game at a time. I have to feel confident and ready to face major-league hitters. I can't just jump in there; I don't know if I'd do the team any good."

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MISCELLANY: Cash said there is no decision on who will be the Rays' starting pitcher in Friday's game at Miami. RHP Matt Andriese and RHP Erasmo Ramirez are candidates. … RHP Chris Archer says he doesn't look forward to batting in interleague games. "I don't look forward to it because we don't practice it," Archer said. "Hitting a 90 mph fastball is one of the hardest things to do." … Orioles RHP Jason Garcia, a Land O'Lakes product who was a Rule 5 pick from the Red Sox, made his major-league debut in the seventh.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.