Updates from Friday, May 30
The Rays' official Twitter feed has good news on Zobrist:
Updates from Thursday, May 29
The Rays optioned infielder Cole Figueroa to Triple-A Durham on Thursday. The move will make room on the 25-man roster for infielder Ben Zobrist to be activated prior to the Rays' three-game weekend series against the Red Sox that begins Friday night at Fenway Park.
Updates from Sunday, May 25
Steve Carney of WDAE 620 in Tampa Bay provides an image of Ben Zobrist from batting practice:
Updates from Wednesday, May 22
Ben Zobrist talked about his injured thumb and his target for a return to the lineup (via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times):
Zobrist said he'd be "surprised" if he's not back by next Friday in Boston.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) May 22, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 15
Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune provides an update on Ben Zobrist's thumb injury:
#rays Zobrist on DL. Figueroa selected from Durham and added to roster.— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) May 15, 2014
#rays Zobrist said he hopes to be ready in 15 days but says it might be longer. Doesn't want to risk setback by rushing— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) May 15, 2014
... what really stung was the realization that the thumb will require about two weeks to fully heal, meaning Zobrist is likely headed to the disabled list.
'I'd be surprised (if I wasn't) because I jammed it pretty good and it's dislocated,' he said. 'We want to make sure it heals properly so I don't have any problems going forward.'
Officially, manager Joe Maddon said the Rays will wait to see how Zobrist feels today before deciding what to do, mentioning the possibility that he'd be able to pinch-hit or DH left-handed and return by the middle of next week.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be without second baseman Ben Zobrist for the foreseeable future after he injured his thumb during a head-first slide against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
Up 2-0 in the fifth inning with David DeJesus at the plate, Zobrist attempted to steal second base and came up in pain after being tagged out by Brad Miller as part of an inning-ending double play thanks to DeJesus' strikeout.
According to Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune, the painful injury will shelve Zobrist for an unknown amount of time:
#rays Zobrist dislocated his left thumb. It was put back in place. He will remain with team and be reevaluated when team returns home— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) May 14, 2014
By the sounds of that, it appears the Rays may be in luck as Zobrist may avoid a trip to the disabled list. Considering he is batting .260 with three home runs and nine RBI on the season, not to mention his quality fielding at a critical spot, the organization can breathe easy—momentarily.
For the time being the Rays can use both Logan Forsythe and Sean Rodriguez at second base. It was the latter who took over upon Zobrist's exit after a 1-for-3 day at the plate. If the evaluation reveals further damage and Zobrist hits the disabled list, the team will have to call up more talent to make due.
Currently in fifth place in the AL East and having lost six of their last eight entering Wednesday's action, Rays faithful can only hope Zobrist will have a short stint on the bench with the issue—especially with a four-game road tilt against the Los Angeles Angels set to begin on Thursday.
On a strange note, the Rays are more than familiar with this particular sliding-injury issue, as shortstop Yunel Escobar recently suffered a thumb injury as well, but hardly missed any time. For the Rays to turn things around, Zobrist's injury will need to follow a similar pattern.