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Sunday, Mar 18, 2018
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Rays Notes: Catching situation is murky

— The Rays did the expected Wednesday and placed C Ryan Hanigan on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

This leaves the catching a little thin right now with Jose Molina, who started Wednesday and will start Friday when LHP David Price faces the Red Sox in Boston, and Ali Solis, who has played in all of five big-league games in 2012 when he was a Padre.

Manager Joe Maddon said he doesn't expect the Rays to make an immediate move to address the situation.

Maddon said Tuesday that Solis could start Wednesday night, but he decided to have Molina catch RHP Chris Archer. Maddon said that wasn't a knock on Solis.

“Ali's done a nice job in the minor leagues. The guys like him a lot,” Maddon said. “Got to see him in spring training. He's a very good receiver and thrower. I'm not afraid of any of that, but J-Mo just has the experience, playing in the division right now, and he knows what's going on, too.”

Price said he threw to Solis during spring training, as did most of the pitchers on the staff. Price said he wouldn't expect any of the pitchers to have issues with Solis behind the plate.

“The biggest thing I think with pitchers and catchers is being able to pick up that target. Making sure they know what type of target you want to see, where you want them on the plate, especially early in the count and later in the count,” Price said. “I know these guys pay attention. They have scouting reports to be able to go out there and execute your pitch. If they don't know what you want to throw, so be it. You shake.”

Hanigan reluctantly goes to DL

Hanigan tried to fight the inevitable as long as he could, but after two months of treatment, rest and less playing time, he finally agreed to a stint on the DL to let his hamstring heal.

“It was tough,” he said. “It's not getting better right now. I think this is the best thing for it. I was kind of talked into it, but at the same time I feel we'll make a smart move with this and get it healthy.”

Hanigan said he has not had an MRI on the hamstring but could when he returns to St. Petersburg. He said the training staff does not believe there is a tear because there is no bleeding. He expects to begin strength training in a week.

Maddon said he was told by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield that Hanigan shouldn't miss more than the minimum 15 days. He is scheduled to come off the DL on June 10.

“When you talk to Ryan about possibly going on the DL, that's a very difficult conversation. He's about as tough as they come,” Maddon said. “The best thing to do is what's best for him and us, and that is to get him 100 percent well so he doesn't have to carry that leg with him the rest of the season.”


Kiermaier returns

OF Kevin Kiermaier was recalled Wednesday to take Hanigan's spot on the roster and replace Brandon Guyer (fractured left thumb) as the fifth outfielder.

This is Kiermaier's third trip to the big leagues this season. He recorded his first hit and first home run during his last trip.

“I don't know how long I'm going to be up here,” Kiermaier said, “but I hope it's for an extended amount of time, and I definitely want to try to break that double-digit mark of (days) being up here. I'm looking forward to it.”

Kiermaier recently missed two games with the Bulls because of a sore left knee, but he said it is not an issue.



RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw two innings Wednesday in a simulated game. Maddon said his fastball touched 90 and he threw his curveball without any issues. ... The Red Sox are scheduled to pitch RHP Brandon Workman on Friday and LHP Jon Lester on Sunday. They haven't named a starter for Saturday. The Rays are flipping RHP Alex Cobb with LHP Erik Bedard, so Price will be followed by RHP Jake Odorizzi and Cobb in this weekend's series at Boston.

Roger Mooney

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Rays Notes: Catching situation is murky
Rays Notes: Catching situation is murky