Rays Notes: Sam Fuld Progresses, Astro Leaves a Surprise for Chris Gimenez

By David Hill

Sam Fuld appears to be making progress in his recovery from a tight right hamstring. The injury, which has kept him out of action since March 3rd, is healing, resulting in optimism that Fuld could return to action sometime this week. This progress leaves the Rays hopeful that they will be able to get him enough at bats so that he will be ready to start the regular season, even though he is expected to be the fourth outfielder. This is particularly important given that Fuld has a reputation for starting the season slowly.

"“He has a tendency of not starting quickly,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I remember we wanted to get him more at-bats because of that. We ended up needing him a couple of years ago, and he ended up doing really well. For me, it’s still important to get him out there as often as we can.”"

Before yesterday’s game against the Red Sox, there was a mishap in the Rays locker room. Astro, the French bulldog of David Price who has achieved celebrity status in his own right, decided to mark Chris Gimenez‘s travel bag as his own property. Fortunately, both parties laughed off the accident, exchanging friendly tweets in regards to the situation.

Fernando Rodney has been one of the standouts for the Dominican Republic as they continue to make their way through he World Baseball Classic, appearing in six games and allowing only one hit in 5.1 scoreless innings. However, Maddon is unconcerned about his workload, particularly since Rodney has not thrown more than 17 pitches in any of his appearances.

"“The concern is that on the back side of that, if there’s going to be a letdown in a sense, because he’s had all this adrenaline rush going on right now,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He is so into it, and rightfully so. I think that’s more of a concern than just pitching too often, the fact that you’ve pitched at such a high level.”"

As the WBC ends on Tuesday, Rodney will still have plenty of time to relax and get himself ready for Opening Day, while staying sharp for the regular season.