The Rays took the better-safe-than-sorry approach and decided to put closer Troy Percival on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained left hamstring.
They activated Willy Aybar from the DL, where he had resided since the second week of the season with a left hamstring strain of his own. Aybar is in the clubhouse and ready to go.
This means the Rays will be a pitcher short tonight, but they likely will send Ben Zobrist down tomorrow and bring up a reliever. Grant Balfour would seem to be the best bet there.
The Rays got good news last night when the MRI on Percival's left leg came back clean, showing no serious damage, but the team decided to play it safe.
"(W)e're confident that it's not anything that's going to linger into a month or months of missed time and that was first and foremost the most important thing on our minds," said executive vice president Andrew Friedman. "Once we got past that, now it's figuring out how best to handle it."
Though the Rays were hopeful Percival would be able to avoid a DL trip, his inability to finish off the game was not a good sign.
"I knew he was hurting, because he did the same thing in Oakland and he stayed out there and he got the job done," said Dan Wheeler, his likely replacement as the closer. "That's Percy right there. ... For him to take himself out of the game, it made me worry a little bit."