ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Matt Moore will not return to the rotation this weekend as he hoped. Instead, he will rest the sore left elbow that sent him to the disabled list July 31 for three days then resume throwing Sunday.
That decision was made after Moore threw a bullpen before Wednesday's game against the Mariners.
“I felt good, but good isn't great, and great isn't 100 percent,” Moore said. “That's what we're really looking for ... to get back out there and being 100 percent. There are still a few things in doubt so we're going to give it a couple of more days and we'll see where it's at.”
Moore did not want to set a timetable for his return.
Moore said he still feels discomfort in the elbow when he throws his changeup. That was the root of the issue when he was placed on the DL. But Moore said the pain wasn't as bad as it was when it surfaced during his last start July 28 at Yankee Stadium.
“It's doesn't feel right,” he said. “From the aspect of throwing 30, 40 pitches into my bullpen, I'm not at a place where I'd normally be 30, 40 pitches in.”
The Rays had not named a starter for Saturday's game against the Blue Jays. It was believed Moore would return for that start. Now the Rays' rotation for the weekend is RHPs Jeremy Hellickson, Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer.
CF Desmond Jennings took 20 swings off a batting tee Tuesday, the first time he's swung a bat since going on the DL with a fractured left middle finger Aug. 6.
“It wasn't a negative,” Jennings said. “It was a positive.”
Jennings is scheduled to come off the disabled list Monday and said he hopes to be in the lineup that night when the Rays open a three-game series in Baltimore.
“It should be all right in a couple of days,” he said. “We'll see.”
RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) played catch in the outfield Wednesday afternoon with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield while pitching coach Jim Hickey watched.
Maddon said the reports were encouraging, but he doesn't know when Crain will be able to join the Rays bullpen.
“(Porterfield) said he was throwing the ball hard with good spin,” Maddon said. “I don't know any kind of specific time frame on the backside. I just know that he's progressing well, and in playing catch the guys like what they're seeing.”
Friday's radio broadcast of the Rays-Jays game will be moved to 97.9 FM and 1250 AM because of the Bucs preseason game ... Maddon's Summer Social, scheduled for Aug. 25, has been canceled because the Rays will travel that night to Kansas City for the Aug. 26 makeup game with the Royals ... 2B Ben Zobrist now has 101 career home runs, making him the sixth player in team history to reach that milestone.