ST. PETERSBURG -
The number of Rays on the disabled list has reached 10, matching a team record last achieved in 1999.
INF Jeff Keppinger
is the latest injured Ray. He was placed on the 15-day DL prior to Monday's game with a broken big toe on his right foot. Keppinger suffered the injury during Saturday's game against the Braves when he was struck by a foul ball off the bat of Martin Prado
As a result, the Rays again went outside the organization to fill a roster spot, acquiring INF Drew Sutton
from the Pittsburgh organization late Sunday for a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man for Sutton, the Rays designated LHP John Gaub
Keppinger is the seventh Ray to land on the disabled list since the start of the season and the fourth since May 14.
"It's kind of part of the fabric around here," manager Joe Maddon
said. "It's unusual to have all these different things occur all at once, but we've been able to this point to survive it pretty well, and I anticipate we'll continue to survive it well.
"I don't expect us going backward. I expect the people on the field; those who have already picked the slack up will continue to do so. It's really about the pitching. As long as our pitching maintains we'll be fine."
Adding Sutton to the roster was the 15th move concerning the major league roster since April 14 when RHP Josh Lueke
was sent to Triple-A Durham as RHP Dane De La Rosa
was recalled. Sutton is also the 11th player to join the team since Opening Day.
More injury news
3B Evan Longoria
(partial tear left hamstring) and LF Desmond Jennings
(left knee sprain) took batting practice before Sunday's game, and Maddon said both looked comfortable.
"I thought Desmond was real good, very comfortable, strong, quick bat. Everything looked good," Maddon said.
Maddon said he is more concerned with Jennings' availability since he is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday when the Rays play the Red Sox in Boston.
"The more important thing is him moving and running and cutting," Maddon said. "Once we're satisfied with that we'll devise a time."
And will that time for his return be Sunday?
"It's within the realm of possibility," Maddon said.
Through his first six games at Durham, DH/OF Hideki Matsui
was 3-for-21 (.143) with three RBIs. There is growing speculation Matsui will join the Rays this weekend in Boston.
Maddon has said batting average will not be the determining factor for when the Rays will call up Matsui but rather how he feels at the plate.
When asked for a status report on Matsui, Maddon said, "I've heard he's doing fine. Just talking to (GM Andrew Freidman
) about it, we're checking up more closely. I haven't heard anything bad, let's put it that way."
So who's the new guy?
Sutton is a switch-hitter who can play all four infield positions as well as the corner outfield spots. He said second base is his primary position. He has a .258 career average in 168 at-bats while playing parts of the past three seasons with the Reds, Indians and Red Sox.
Maddon said he remembers seeing Sutton play during spring training.
"I've liked him from a distance and our front office has liked him for a while," Maddon said.
Each of the Rays' past seven losses prior to Monday's game was by one or two runs. … The Rays' 37 stolen bases are third-most in the majors and second-most in the AL behind the A's (38). … LHP David Price
has allowed four home runs in his past three starts. He allowed four home runs in his previous 10 regular-season starts.
RAYS ON THE DL
1B Brandon Allen (quad strain)
C Robinson Chirinos (concussion)
P Kyle Farnsworth (elbow strain)
OF Sam Fuld (wrist surgery)
OF Brandon Guyer (shoulder strain)
OF Desmond Jennings (knee sprain)
INF Jeff Keppinger (broken toe)
C Jose Lobaton (wore shoulder)
3B Evan Longoria (partially torn hamstring)
P Jeff Niemann (fractured fibula)