TORONTO Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was not in Friday night's lineup against the Blue Jays, and said he doesn't know when he will return from a strained right hamstring suffered Sunday. Ben Zobrist will play shortstop for at least Friday's game. Talking through Joel Peralta, serving as a Spanish-English translator, Escobar said he doesn't think he will go on the disabled list. Neither does manager Joe Maddon.
"I'm not overly concerned now," Maddon said of the injury. Maddon said he thinks Escobar will be able to DH on Saturday and play shortstop Sunday. "If not Sunday I don't think it's far in the future," Maddon said. Escobar said he has not undergone an MRI, but that the hamstring is more tight than anything and he feels it all the time, even when walking. He planned on taking batting and fielding practice before Friday's game. Escobar said he'd rather take the time off now than rush back and risk making the injury worse, an approach Maddon favors as well. "He's so valuable you don't want to push it," Maddon said.