ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David DeJesus’ absence was short-lived with his return to the Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup Thursday.
The left fielder, who had missed the past two games with a sore right foot, was listed as the Rays’ designated hitter for the finale of their four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Initially, he was slotted to play left field, but Logan Forsythe was placed in the position with lineup changes before first pitch.
”Yeah, ready to roll,” DeJesus said. ”Let’s go.”
DeJesus’ injury occurred Monday, when a pitch from Blue Jays right-hander Jeremy Jeffress struck the foot with one out. X-rays were negative.
On Tuesday, DeJesus said there was swelling overnight, but he was confident a disabled-list stint would not be necessary.
Rays manager Joe Maddon confirmed that optimism Thursday. He said DeJesus would have been a batting option late in the Rays’ loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, if necessary.
”He was good to go yesterday in the latter part of the game,” Maddon said. ”He could have pinch-hit.”
DeJesus went 0 for 3 with one walk in the Rays’ victory over the Blue Jays on Monday.
AWAITING ANOTHER ADDITION
Rays utility man Sean Rodriguez is prepared to add another addition to his family: His fourth child.
Early Thursday, Rodriguez’s wife, Giselle, tweeted that the couple was ready to welcome their fourth kid.
Rodriguez was not seen before the game. Later, he was placed on the paternity list, which means he could miss up to three days. Maddon was vague about the Rays’ contingency plans with Rodriguez’s absence, though there are a couple options. Bench player Brandon Guyer is one, in addition to infielder Vince Belnome, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Thursday.
”He was still waiting to deal with all that,” Maddon said of Rodriguez. ”We have not heard yet what had happened. But (we’re) eagerly anticipating the birth today.”
Forsythe received the start in left field, but not without major shuffling first.
To begin the day, DeJesus started at the position and was slotted to lead off. However, Matt Joyce was later moved to left, and DeJesus was named DH. Then Wil Myers was ruled out with flu-like symptoms, which caused the Rays to move Joyce to right field and Forsythe to left.
Initially, Myers was scheduled to bat second. After all the changes, Desmond Jennings moved from the No. 6 spot to second. Forsythe batted sixth.
HOT MATT JOYCE
Joyce entered Thursday on an offensive tear. He reached base or drove in a run in eight of his 10 plate appearances. He began Thursday batting .667 with three RBI.
The Rays entered without a home run in their first three games, which was the longest drought to begin a season in team history.
JOE MADDON ANNIVERSARY
Maddon made his Devil Rays/Rays debut on this day in 2006. In that first game, the Baltimore Orioles beat Tampa Bay 9-6 at Camden Yards.
The Devil Rays were 518-775 in eight seasons before his arrival. The Rays began Thursday with a record of 1,196-1,397.