Rays' roster starting to get a lot healthier

Rays' roster starting to get a lot healthier

Rays' roster starting to get a lot healthier
ST. PETERSBURG -- There may not be a happier person in the Rays' organization than trainer Ron Porterfield.

A total of 14 players have been on the disabled list this season for Tampa Bay while only four remain after the team reinstated Evan Longoria from the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday.

Outfielder Brandon Guyer won't return this season, while catcher Robinson Chirinos, out with a concussion, is still unlikely to be back.

But the other two, Jeff Niemann and Luke Scott, are set to begin rehab assignments shortly.

Niemann will be making the short drive to Class A Port Charlotte to make a start on Wednesday for the Stone Crabs. Out with a broken lower right leg since May 15, Niemann will likely make at least four starts and be prepared to throw 100 innings before returning to Tampa Bay.

Niemann threw three innings of a simulated game on Friday and is confident he can be stretched out by his fourth start because he was able to maintain arm strength during his injury.

Scott meanwhile, sidelined with an external oblique strain, took batting practice on Tuesday and will do so again Wednesday. Rays manager Joe Maddon said on Tuesday that Scott and will be re-evaluated for a potential rehab assignment after that.

Utility man Ben Zobrist provided some concern for Tampa Bay on Sunday after being removed prior to the fourth inning against the Orioles because of back spasms. But Zobrist was is back in the lineup on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.