ST. PETERSBURG — Forget September call-ups, the Tampa Bay Rays are expecting three front-line players to rejoin the team within the next week or so.
RF Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) should rejoin the team during this series with the Tigers, if not tonight then Thursday when the Rays face LHP David Price.
“Wil’s getting real close,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He can be hatched any day now. So, we’ll wait and see.”
Also, OF David DeJesus (left hand fracture) responded well to Monday’s day of rest and said he will resume his minor-league rehab tonight with Class-A Charlotte, and C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) might not be far behind.
Both DeJesus and Hanigan took batting practice before Tuesday’s game with the Tigers.
DeJesus had two plate appearances Saturday with the Gulf Coast League Rays and experienced soreness in his left hand. An MRI on Sunday was negative.
“It was the first live game, I think probably getting excited to get out there, first kind of swing with impact off a pitcher,” DeJesus said. “We just made sure everything is all right. Everything is structurally OK, so now I know I’m going to have to deal with it, so when I feel it, just give it a day, because (Tuesday) it responded really well.”
DeJesus said he could get enough at-bats in a week and would like to rejoin the team next week either during the road trip at Baltimore or when the Rays return home to begin a series with the Red Sox.
“Probably, but I don’t want to put a timetable on it,” DeJesus said. “Get consistent at-bats and go from there.”
DeJesus said the positive MRI means he can expect some pain in his hand during the early part of his rehab assignment and that he shouldn’t be concerned.
“I’m not going to break it or do something to the ligaments now,” he said, “They’re stable, they’re fine. I can keep grinding through it. Mentally, it was a big help.”
Hanigan could start his rehab assignment Thursday if he can repeat today everything he did Tuesday and do it pain free.
“I haven’t felt pain in a couple of days, which is great,” Hanigan said. “I’ve done everything full-on. I’m really confident this time with how it’s feeling. I felt like we’re over the hump.”
Hanigan said his oblique wasn’t feeling fine when he started his minor-league rehab Aug. 2 with the Stone Crabs.
“I want to really take responsibility, because (the training staff) did a good job and I felt it some, but I really felt like I can play, and I can deal with it, but it’s really hard to gauge how you’re going to feel against game-situation movement and it just got aggravated,” he said.
Hanigan added that he thinks he will only need eight to 10 at-bats before he’s ready to return.
Maddon wasn’t sold on that time frame.
“It normally takes longer than that for a guy that’s been out that long,” he said.
Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson will call tonight’s game for Sun Sports from The Porch in center field, next to the rays touch tank. ... Tonight’s starter, RHP Jake Odorizzi, has allowed one or zero runs in nine of his starts. He’s tied with RHP Alex Cobb for the team lead and tied with Seattle’s Roenis Elias for the most among major-league rookies.