PHOENIX — Manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday he doesn't foresee a long stint on the disabled list for CF Desmond Jennings (broken left finger).
“It could be, hopefully, not a lot longer than the regular 15-day DL or something close to that,” Maddon said.
Jennings, who broke the finger Saturday against the Giants, is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 19.
In the meantime, Maddon said Jennings' spot in center field and at the top of the batting order will be handled by committee.
Sam Fuld, the backup center fielder, started there Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. But Maddon said he will also use Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers, Sean Rodriguez and Jason Bourgeois, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham, to replace Jennings.
“You're going to see everybody, probably, except (Jose) Molina and (Jose) Lobaton,” Maddon said.
Fuld said he is ready to handle the position every day.
“If that's what they want, I can do it,” Fuld said.
But that may not be what Maddon wants.
“It just depends. Part of our gig is run-prevention, too,” Maddon said. “We feel as though he's definitely our best center field option at this point. However, just looking at who's pitching for us, too, and how specific the need is in center field. So, if we feel there is less need we might do something differently, try to go maybe in a different offensive direction. That is going to be a game-by-game, day-by-day situation.”
In other words, if a flyball pitcher like Jeremy Hellickson is pitching, then Fuld has a better chance to play. That was the case Tuesday. But if a ground-ball pitcher like David Price is starting, Maddon will opt for the best offensive lineup.
As for the leadoff hitter, Maddon said Yunel Escobar, Matt Joyce and Zobrist will share those duties until Jennings returns.
LHP Matt Moore (sore left elbow) played catch Tuesday with Price at 70 feet. He expects to play catch again today at 90 feet.
“It's definitely something that over the course of the last week, it's gotten considerably better every couple of days,” he said. “I'm much better now than I was two days ago, and two days before that the same thing.”
Moore said he will throw again Friday and hopes to do some bullpen work over the weekend.
RHP Chris Archer, who starts tonight, saw his winning streak snapped in his previous start because of three two-out hits, the second being a triple and the third a two-run homer.
“He was going along swimmingly until that four or five pitches in a row,” Maddon said. “The thing to be learned from that is to never let your guard down, maintain your focus. If you give up something, don't give up the next run.”
Archer said the lesson was learned.
“That's why we stick to our routine,” Archer said. “That's why we have consistent thoughts. That's why (pitching coach Jim Hickey) constantly challenges us to be better, because we're facing big league hitters. One through nine, they can all do damage in some way, so, yes, it was a very good reminder, and we're sticking to what we've been working on for the past few months. Hopefully we can get the same consistent result that we've been getting.”
Bourgeois joins team
Bourgeois signed with the Rays in the offseason on the advice of childhood friend and former Little League teammate Carl Crawford.
“I was trying to sign with a winning ballclub,” he said. “I know that sometimes the more you win, those managers like guys with a little bit more experience, so I tried to go for that.”
Bourgeois will wear No. 13, Crawford's old number.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Bourgeois, the Rays transferred RHP Alex Cobb to the 60-day disabled list. The earliest Cobb can be activated is Aug. 15. ... All three games this weekend against the Dodgers will feature a Cy Young Award winner — Price on Friday, Zack Greinke on Saturday and Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. ... Archer credits what he read in “I am: The Power of Discovering Who You Are,” by Howard Falco for his success as a big league pitcher. Falco lives in Scottsdale, and the two had dinner Monday.