TORONTO — The right hamstring C Ryan Hanigan injured May 16 in Anaheim has not gotten any better, and it might have gotten worse Monday when Hanigan said he felt a “grab” and was removed from the game.
The Rays called up Triple-A Durham C Ali Solis on Tuesday to act as the second catcher while Hanigan receives more treatment and rest. With an off day Thursday, the Rays likely will wait until Friday when 2B Ben Zobrist is expected to be activated before making the decision to place Hanigan on the 15-day disabled list.
“That's not something I want to do at all, to tell you the truth,” Hanigan said about going on the DL. “I don't know what's best. I'm going to try and leave it up to the trainers, honestly. They know where I stand. I'd like to try and keep playing if I can stay functional, but at the same time I don't want it to be bothering me all year. I don't know what they think. If we can take a couple of days to get through the off day, maybe it will calm down? Or if they're going to give me the 15 days to come back fresh? We'll see. It's a tough call.”
Hanigan missed the final two games against the Angels and the first game of the last homestand. Add an off day in between the two series and he had four days of rest. Manager Joe Maddon tried to help the healing process by playing Hanigan every other day during the last homestand. Yet, that didn't seem to do the trick.
When asked about the possibility of placing Hanigan on the DL, Maddon said, “It's not impossible. Hammies are a pain, boy. They are tricky, and they don't want to get better while you're still testing them. We're still debating this.”
Hanigan was adamant when the injury first occurred that he would not head to the DL. He sounded less adamant Tuesday.
“It's a tough call, because it's not excruciating,” he said. “I have been functional, but it is bothersome. I think being a catcher it's tougher. You're putting a lot of weight on it. I'm trying to do what I can in terms of it. It's healing some, but a little setback (Monday). It's not 100 percent.”
Hanigan said if the rest and treatment can heal the hamstring by Friday, fine. If he needs more time than that, it will be an issue.
“I can't keep having setbacks,” he said. “I want it to get better. It's a long year. I don't want to keep dealing with it. But I also think it's pretty functional. In terms of all the stuff that I do, it doesn't kill me. It's kind of in between.”
Solis returned to the big leagues for the first time since 2012, when he was a September call-up with the Padres. He appeared in five games — no starts — and was 0-for-4.
Maddon said Solis will serve as the backup to C Jose Molina and might make his first big-league start tonight.
“He's not here to take up space,” Maddon said.
Solis was hitting .186 with a home run and 12 RBIs for Durham.
The bullpen, still gassed after Saturday's 15 inning-game against the Red Sox, got a night off Monday when RHP Alex Colome pitched the final four innings before being sent back to Durham.
“Doesn't seem like a whole lot, but sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war,” Maddon said. “It's not fun to have to do that, but that's a perfect example of what you got to do once in a while, and Colome permitted that to happen.”
LHP Matt Moore was moved to the 60-day DL to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Solis. ... Zobrist (dislocated left thumb) did not make his rehab start Tuesday in Port Charlotte because of a stomach virus. He is expected to play tonight and rejoin the team Friday. ... 3B Evan Longoria is the lone Rays player to appear in the top five in voting at his position (top 15 for outfielders) during the first counting of All-Star game ballots. Longoria, a three-time All-Star, had 407,724 votes, second to the A's Josh Donaldson's 464,367. Adrian Beltre of the Rangers is third with 281,460.