Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Reyes latest to land on DL
Posted Apr 16, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Apr 16, 2008 at 07:21 PM
MINNEAPOLIS—Greetings from the Metrodome, where we have just learned there is still more injury-related bad news for the Rays.
Al Reyes has been placed on the 15-day DL with a shoulder impingement (basically an inflammation around the rotator cuff that causes pain when you lift your arm) and Kurt Birkins has been activated from the DL to take his roster spot.
Updating after talking to Reyes, Birkins and Maddon: This is something that has been bothering Reyes his last couple of appearances. He said Monday was the worst it felt, and Maddon was concerned during that outing because Reyes was hitting only 83-84 on the radar gun.
Trainer Ron Porterfield took the initiative to check Reyes out, and they discovered the problem. Sounds like it’s similar to the shoulder problem that put him on the DL on either side of the All-Star break last year, but he said this isn’t as bad.
“It’s nothing major, just a little inflammation in the shoulder,” said Reyes. “I’ll just treat it and come back in a couple weeks.”
Birkins arrived at the dome around 5 p.m. local time, 15 minutes before the Rays began stretching before BP. He got a call at 11:30 last night that something might be happening, putting on hold his planned drive from St. Pete to Durham today. After he came through his two-inning stint in an extended spring training game Monday with no problems, the plan was to activate him from the DL and option him to Durham. Instead, he had to unpack his car and pull out a couple days’ worth of clothes to fly here.
Andy Sonnanstine greeted Birkins with a “How you doin’?” and Birkins gave the appropriate response, with a huge grin: “I can’t complain.”
Maddon plans to use Birkins in longer situations, citing his background as a starter. That puts J.P. Howell in more of a situational role, though Maddon will still use him against righties, saving Trever Miller for the really late, lefty-only spots. Gary Glover figures to move back into more seventh-inning type of work, but he’s been doing that a bit lately anyway.
In other news:
* Dioner Navarro caught five innings in an extended spring game today but didn’t hit. He’s scheduled to do so tomorrow.
* Juan Salas is supposed to arrive in the country at long last tonight and report to the Naimoli Complex tomorrow.
* Matt Garza is slated for a bullpen session at Naimoli tomorrow and a rehab appearance for Vero on Sunday.
And finally, Maddon has moved B.J. Upton up to third in the lineup and dropped Carlos Pena to fourth, going right-left-right through the power spots with Evan Longoria hitting fifth.
“That’s something we’ve been wanting to do; I’ve just been waiting,” said Maddon. “With Evan here now I feel a little bit more comfortable doing it, so we’re going to give it a shot and see how it works.”
Here’s the lineup: