Aug 2, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings (8) bunts during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Tropicana Field. San Francisco Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Roundup: Desmond Jennings May Return Monday, Kyle Farnsworth Signs

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Seemingly the moment that Rays leadoff hitter and offensive catalyst Desmond Jennings landed on the disabled list, the Rays began to struggle. While Wil Myers has done well in center, and Ben Zobrist has been solid as a leadoff hitter, it is the element of speed that Jennings has that has helped make the Rays lineup dangerous this season. Fortunately, as the Rays have begun to heat up again, their leadoff hitter may be returning soon. Right now, it appears as though Jennings may be activated on Monday, the first day he is eligible to return to action.

Jennings hit in a batting cage for the first time on Thursday, and the results appeared positive.

“He’s making nice progress,” manager Joe Maddon said. “[Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield] believes if he’s not right on schedule, it isn’t going to be far off that.”

Even though Jennings is not expected to be 100% upon his return, he is still likely to provide that dynamic leadoff hitter that the Rays offense has lacked over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps his return to the lineup will spark the Rays offense back to their previous levels.

Kyle Farnsworth, who was released last week, has resurfaced. The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Farnsworth was signed to a minor league contact, and will report to the AAA Indianapolis Indians. He is likely to only be minor league depth at this point, as the Pirates have one of the better bullpens in the game, with a 2.75 ERA, and may appear for the Pirates in September when rosters expand.

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