MIAMI — The reports were still a little hazy, but Akinori Iwamura is likely headed to the 15-day disabled list with a left knee injury, manager Joe Maddon said.†
Iwamura said it was the worst pain he had ever felt since getting to the United States but wanted to wait for the MRIs before speculating if he’d be out for a long period of time.
For now, Maddon said his options at second base are open, with Willy Aybar, Ben Zobrist and recent call-up Reid Brignac being options.
“He’s not feeling really good right now,” Maddon said about Iwamura, who was in a brace.
“Obviously, when you get hit like that, you’re going to be in a lot of pain. And once he sat himself up, he was able to gather himself. I think the initial shot probably hurt a lot, but, again, I don’t know what it is, and I just know that we’re going to have a setback, and then do the MRI thing, and if I had to guess, he’s going to be on the DL.”
As for Jason Bartlett, who hurt his left ankle after being slid into by a stealing Dan Uggla and trying to pick catcher Dioner Navarro’s throw, that situation doesn’t appear to be too serious. Bartlett stayed in the game after walking it off. He won’t be in the lineup in the beginning of a four-game series against the Indians on Monday, but that was a planned off-day, considering he’s 0-for-15 lifetime against starter Fausto Carmona.†
“I think [Uggla] just slid over it, and [the left ankle] rolled on me,” Bartlett said. “Tomorrow was a day off anyway, so hopefully it will feel better.”
James Shields was fine after getting hit by a comebacker from Ross Gload with two outs in the seventh inning. Maddon just wanted to get Grant Balfour in the game there.
— Alden Gonzalez†
MIAMI — Rays third baseman Evan Longoria left Saturday’s win against the Marlins in the top of the ninth after being hit by a pitch.
Against reliever Hayden Penn, Longoria took a 1-2, 89-mph fastball to the left elbow. The 23-year-old walked it off and, after being checked on by assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker, decided to remain in the game.
But Longoria, who had a big red mark right above the elbow, came out two batters later when rookie Reid Brignac pinch-ran for him while he was on third base.
After the game, manager Joe Maddon said it shouldn’t be a big deal and just felt it was going to be sore — “one of those good ol’ contusions,” is what he called it. Maddon said he wasn’t sure yet if Longoria would start Sunday’s game, but he doubted whether he would need X-rays.
“It hit me right on the meat, which is a good spot,” Longoria said. “It hurts. But in that situation right there, if the game is tight, I probably push to keep myself in the game and play defense in the ninth inning. But I had an opportunity to get out right there and just get ice on it, give it a chance to rest. It feels OK right now.”
— Alden Gonzalez
MIAMI — Greetings from Land Shark Stadium — yes, it’s still the same place; they just changed the name. Rays come in for the start of Interleague Play with three against the Marlins.†
With the club carrying 13 pitchers and 12 position players, word is infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Dale Thayer are up with the club. The corresponding moves, however, are not yet known.
Thayer, a 28-year-old right-hander, has posted a 0.93 ERA in 16 games for Triple-A Durham this year. Brignac, 23, was batting .291 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 36 games for the Bulls.
A corresponding move to the disabled list for at least one Ray is expected.
— Alden Gonzalez