Countdown to Opening Day: Injured Players Ready for Rays


The Tampa Bay Rays are hard at work in Port Charlotte and one player is excited and ready to be competing for a spot in the rotation.

Jeremy Hellickson, the Rays’ right-hander had surgery in January to remove loose objects from his elbow. He’s been recovering well and he’s expected to be back in May. During his recovery process he’s been in camp preparing for the spring competition.

Thursday will be a big day for Hellickson since it will be the first day throwing a baseball since his surgery. He told that his plan is to play catch with Ray’s athletic trainer Ron Porterfield. But, he’s only set to play for about 5 minutes from about 45-60 feet out.

Another player on the injured list is Ben Zobrist who suffered a stiff neck last week. According to, Zobrist says it’s nothing to seriously worry about. He was not in the lineup against the Twins but he could play against the Blue Jays Wednesday.

Zobrist told, “I haven’t gone on the road yet in Spring Training. I need to go on a couple of road trips, at least.”

The second baseman began feeling stiffness in his neck during batting practice before the matchup against the Pirates last weekend. Unfortunately for him, neck stiffness gets in the way of hitting since Zobrist says he turns his back to get a good swing.

Aside from Zobrist, David DeJesus is back from having soreness in his side and Joel Peralta is ready to play after having a stiff neck as well.

The Rays face the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday at 1:05 PM in Dunedin.

For more on this story visit: Bill Chastain,