Dan Johnson, who leads the International League with 30 home runs, 95 RBI, a .430 OBP and a 1.053 OPS could be up with the Rays as early as tomorrow. With both Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena ailing, Joe Maddon says the team could place one on the DL rather than proceed this week with a short bench…
“You have to make up (your mind) whether you want to take the chance of putting them on (the DL) and them being ready in two or three days or you don’t put them on and play short,” Maddon said. “It’s a real box you’re in right there. It’s not clear, and it’s not an easy call.”
Joe Smith goes on to report that both Zobrist and Pena were feeling better yesterday with Zobrist expecting to be ready no later than Thursday.
So who is more likely to hit the DL? On the one hand, if Johnson is the guy to get the call, it might make more sense to DL Pena as Johnson is a natural first baseman. But with Zobrist, the Rays can make the DL-stint retroactive to last Thursday which allow the Rays to bring Zobrist back sooner than they could with Pena.
If the Rays do place Pena or Zobrist on the DL today, they could use that roster spot for Jeremy Hellickson, who is expected to be optioned back to Durham following tonight’s game. They could then promote Johnson to take Hellboy’s spot on the roster until Pena or Zobrist is ready to return.