Notes: Crawford upbeat despite snub

Notes: Crawford upbeat despite snub

ST. PETERSBURG -- A day after finding out he didn't make the American League All-Star squad, Carl Crawford remained upbeat.

"It's disappointing, but I've just got to go back ... to the drawing board [this offseason] and try to work a little harder," Crawford said. "Hope for the best again."

Crawford was asked if not getting selected or elected would serve as a motivator for him.

"Most definitely," Crawford said. "[American League manager Ozzie Guillen, who manages thie White Sox] took the guys out of his division. I'm definitely going to use that as a motivational tool for this offseason."

As the case is every year heading into the All-Star Game, there is a chance players will drop off the team for one reason or another. Crawford said he would jump at the opportunity to fill in if somebody can't go.

"I'm not going to turn down a chance to play," Crawford said. "I'd definitely be ready if someone goes down. Like I said, it's just a little disappointing, but a lot of guys are having good years this year. Just have to get better for next year."

Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays would make their case for Crawford if the opening became available.

"Saying from our perspective, he is a rare blend of speed and power," Maddon said. "He's one of the rare guys who can hit it over the wall or steal you second and third in the same sequence. On top of that, his defense is highend, also. Just his energy for the game, I believe he is the kind of player people want to see play."

Gomes back to everyday status: Count Jonny Gomes as the one player on the Rays most excited about finishing up against the National League.

"I'm really excited [about being back in the lineup]," said Gomes, who has been limited to pinch-hitting duties in National League parks due to a sore right shoulder that has prevented him from playing in the field.

Gomes had an MRI during the Rays' last homestand and a strained rotator cuff tendon was revealed. The prognosis is good for a full recovery. Currently, he is doing exercises for the injury, but there is a chance he might need surgery at the end of the season.

"If it is surgery, it will definitely be minor," Gomes said. "Nothing over four weeks of rehab."

Playing in the National League parks reminded Gomes that he does not want to become a full-time DH.

"I definitely don't want to be labeled as a DH," Gomes said. "You don't want to limit yourself to half of the teams in Major League Baseball. You want your stock as high as possible. My shoulder being what it is, it lowers your stock."

Gomes said he has ordered a first baseman's mitt to open up other options for him. However, Maddon said there is no plan for Gomes to play any first base this season.

Walker has setback: Closer Ty Walker has been on the disabled list with a right elbow strain since June 14 and recently had a setback when he threw while the team was in Miami. Walker will see team orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday.

"Maybe [pressed it a little bit], that's the way I am," Walker said. "That might be the case."

Maddon said the Rays won't make any "kind of rash move" until they get a report from the doctor.

"I don't want to jeopardize his career by having him throw before we're really sure he's fine to do that," Maddon said. "So we'll know more by the middle of this week."

Hamilton to play Tuesday: Josh Hamilton, who recently was cleared by Major League Baseball to come off his indefinite suspension for substance abuse, will make his return to professional baseball action Tuesday for the Class A Hudson Valley Renegades.

"I'm concerned about him as a human being," Maddon said. "If he gets three hits, that's wonderful, but if he feels good at the end of the day and wants to do it the next day, that's even better. This guy staying well and becoming involved in society again, he's going to be a Major League player. He's that good. But the bigger concern, I think, is that he's able to get on with his life."

This and that: Damon Hollins went to his home in Fairfield, Calif., to be present at the birth of his first child. ... Tuesday's FSN Florida game telecast and pregame show will feature U.S. soldiers sending back video taped greetings to their families, along with Rays players sending special messages back to the soldiers.

Up next: The Devil Rays and Red Sox will play the second game of their four-game series Tuesday in a 4:15 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Left-hander Casey Fossum will start for the Rays and will be opposed by right-hander Curt Schilling.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.