Bartlett rests aching shoulder

Bartlett rests aching shoulder

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jason Bartlett did not start Sunday, affording the Rays shortstop an opportunity to rest his aching right shoulder for two days, given the fact Tampa Bay is off Monday before heading to Orlando for a three-game series against the Blue Jays.

Bartlett "had a nice game yesterday," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "And this really gives him two days to get his arm back. [His arm is] just a little bit achy ... like when a pitcher goes through a dead-arm period."

Bartlett, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Twins, said he just needed a little rest.

"For some reason, it's just a little tired right now," Bartlett said. "Having today off and tomorrow -- two days off -- [I] should be good by Tuesday."

Bartlett has made four errors this season, all of which came in his last eight games. Maddon believes there is a correlation between Bartlett's shoulder and the miscues.

"I think [the aching shoulder] has contributed," Maddon said. "[We're] just going to try and clean this thing up right now and not let it linger. But I think the two days off will be very helpful.

"Talking to him and talking to the trainers, I think it's just a rest kind of thing. He'll come back with a fresher feeling on Tuesday, hopefully. When you get achy like that, it just inhibits you sometimes when you release [the ball]. ... Sometimes a couple of days [off] gets that all straightened out."

Bartlett could not pinpoint a precise time when his shoulder began to nag him.

"It just got sore gradually," he said.

Bartlett led Major League shortstops with 23 errors in 2007, which was influenced by having right shoulder and neck pain. Bartlett said this year's problem is not like what happened last season.

"It's not the same thing," Bartlett said. "Last year was some pain. This year, it's just an ache and some fatigue."

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