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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Rays

Rays Notes: Hanigan adamant we will avoid DL stint

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— The Rays will learn Tuesday if C Ryan Hanigan is the next position player to head to the disabled list.

Hanigan missed the past two games with a hamstring injury suffered while trying to beat out a grounder Friday that Hanigan said is between a cramp and a strain. When asked before Sunday’s game if he would need time on the DL to recover, Hanigan said, “No. Stamp it.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn’t quite as convincing before the game.

“Hanie’s a pretty tough guy, and that’s part of the difficulty regarding evaluating this entire moment, the fact that he’s pretty adamant he’s fine,” Maddon said. “Right now no, but I can’t say it wouldn’t change.”

After the game, Maddon said, “We’ll give him (today) to rest completely and then Tuesday get him out there and run him through a couple of things. I think by Tuesday we’ll find out a lot more clearly what we got going on.”

The Rays likely will have a catcher from their farm system on hand Tuesday as insurance.

“We may have to do something like that,” Maddon said. “Make sure somebody’s in town in case it goes sideways.”

Kiermaier impressive

Kevin Kiermaier, called up when CF Desmond Jennings was placed on bereavement leave, hit his first major-league home run Sunday and robbed Erick Aybar of extra bases when he slammed into the right-center field wall to make a catch in the second inning.

“They told me it was going to be for a couple of days, so I just wanted to contribute any way I can,” Kiermaier said. “It was good to finally square up a ball and show these guys what I can do.”

The Rays have known about Kiermaier’s defense. Maddon calls him the best defensive outfielder in baseball. But Kiermaier impressed Maddon with his home run, an opposite-field drive into the left-field seats.

“I’ve been here before in this ballpark. I have not seen many oppo home runs right down the line,” Maddon said. “That’s tough to carry.

Kiermaier flew back to Tampa with the team Sunday but is expected to return to Triple-A Durham when Jennings rejoins the Rays on Tuesday.

“He’s going to get his opportunity. He’s going to be here a long time,” Maddon said. “The bat speed is good. He still needs to learn a couple of things batting-wise, understand what they are doing to him.”

Ramos revisited

LHP Cesar Ramos was not happy about getting pulled with one in the top of the second inning during Saturday’s 6-0 loss.

“I thought I proved something last time,” Ramos said after the game. “I’m capable of doing it, but, you know.”

Ramos didn’t want to talk about it before Sunday’s game.

The Angels had two runners on in the second inning, and Maddon said he did not see Ramos turning things around like he did in Seattle the first night of the trip.

Maddon said with the bullpen rested, Price pitching Sunday and today’s off day, he could take a chance on a long bullpen night. Maddon said those circumstances were not present that night in Seattle.

“It was one of those nights. I’m certain he’ll get over it,” Maddon said. “It was nothing personal, obviously. I was trying to win the game and I thought moving it along right there, we had a better chance of winning.”

Ramos’ 11⁄3 innings marked the shortest non-injury, non-weather-related outing by a starter since RHP Jeff Niemann went one inning Sept. 24, 2011, at Toronto.

Noteworthy

The Rays have not named a starter for Thursday but it appears it will be RHP Alex Cobb (strained left oblique). The Rays are waiting for him to throw a bullpen today to make sure he’s ready to rejoin the rotation. Ramos likely will return to the bullpen when that happens. ... At 19-26, the Rays are off to their worst 45-game start since 2007.

Roger Mooney

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