In spite of Matt Duffy’s best effort to overcome a lingering hamstring injury that shelved him from the bulk of the Spring Training contests, it appears that he will open the season on the injured list. Duffy, who got nine at-bats across multiple Minor League games on Friday, was scratched from the lineup before Saturday’s game against the Tigers.
Not ideal for Matt, but I appreciate him being honest last night and say that he just didn’t feel right. I think we did everything. The training staff did a great job, Matt did a great job trying to get back. Time just beat us up a little bit.— Kevin Cash
Duffy will continue to test his hamstring over the next couple of days while the Rays will take it slow in order to get him back to health ahead of his return.
I would imagine we would take our time with this and try to get it under wraps. We didn’t want to rush it, but our best team is with him on the roster.— Kevin Cash
Duffy will likely be placed on the 10-day IL on Monday, meaning he could miss just the first seven games of the regular season. That would allow him to rejoin the team in San Francisco, where he used to play, for the April 5-7 series against the Giants.
Yandy Diaz, Daniel Robertson, and Joey Wendle will see most of the reps at third base to start the season. The injury also opens up another spot on the roster for Tampa Bay.
Outfielder Guillermo Heredia now could break camp with the team, which would give the Rays six outfielders and thirteen position players. They, however, could also add a thirteenth pitcher to the roster. Emilio Pagan, Hunter Wood, Jalen Beeks, and Adam Kolarek are still competing for a spot.
Obviously, people are going to lean towards Guillermo Heredia. But we have some decisions to make, whether we carry an extra pitcher and then we still have to decide that last and final spot. … Last year, I believe it was the day of. I certainly hope we’re not that late, but sometimes they go down to the wire. I don’t think our plan is to be that late, for sure.— Kevin Cash