Rays Roundup: Jennings Should be Back Soon

In this edition of Rays Roundup: Desmond Jennings' knee injury is not serious and he could be back in the lineup as early as Wednesday, Brandon Guyer gets the call while Jeff Keppinger deals with "a personal matter" and Jeff Niemann puts his perfect 3-0 record against the Yankees on the line Wednesday night. All of that and more inside.

INSIDE PITCH

Jennings could be back as soon as Wednesday

The Rays have already had the depth of their lineup severely tested, playing without center fielder B.J. Upton the first two weeks of the season and losing third baseman Evan Longoria for two months.

Thus, they felt relieved with word that the knee injury sustained by left fielder Desmond Jennings was minor and should only sideline him a few days.

Jennings sustained what the team described as a left knee sprain, and he was confident he would not need a trip to the disabled list.

"I don't think it's that bad," he said.

Jennings was fitted for a brace and resumed some activities Tuesday, including running on a treadmill. He said it was possible he could return to action by Wednesday.

Jennings was hurt during Sunday's game and came out after two innings. He went for an MRI exam Monday.

"I was hoping it didn't come back with nothing, but if it's anything, this is probably the best thing that could have happened," Jennings said. "It's not a good feeling either way, but you can live with this."

Matt Joyce played left field and went 0-for-3 with a walk Tuesday in the Rays' 5-3 loss to the Yankees.


NOTES, QUOTES

Personal matter causes Keppinger to go on restricted list

--INF Jeff Keppinger was placed on the restricted list after Tuesday's game due to what the team said was "a personal matter." The Rays said Keppinger's absence was expected to be short-term, possibly even just for one day. They did not announce the move until after the clubhouse was closed postgame and the players had left Yankee Stadium.

--OF Brandon Guyer was called up from Class AAA Durham to join the Rays for Wednesday's game. He was hitting .294 with three homers and 13 RBI through 22 games. He recently returned from the disabled list after recovering from an ankle sprain. Guyer played 15 games for Tampa Bay last season, hitting .195 with two homers in 41 at-bats.

--RHP Jeff Niemann starts Wednesday against the Yankees with a perfect record on the line: 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA in five starts against New York. Niemann said the quality of the Yankees lineup forces a pitcher to bear down on every pitch.

--CF B.J. Upton has impressed manager Joe Maddon was his most recent approach. "I'd say the primary difference is a better, more aggressive swing," Maddon said.

--RHP James Shields felt he deserved a better fate, as the three runs he gave up Tuesday at Yankee Stadium came on two home runs to right field that he felt were popups coming off the bat. "But you know the layout of the stadium here," he said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Consecutive times the Rays had beaten the Yankees before losing Tuesday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Better to have him at third base with one out than get him thrown out at home plate and have to get a hit." -- Rays third base coach Tom Foley, on holding Jeff Keppinger at third on Will Rhymes' one-out double in the seventh inning. Both runners were stranded in Tampa Bay's 5-3 loss to the Yankees.


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