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.



  1. Thad says:

    Couldn't they also choose to option a pitcher like Landy Cormanstine?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, Cormier is out of options so he would have to clear waivers (certainly possible). Sonny does have an option. So, yes, if they choose not to DL Pena or Zobrist, they will likely demote Sonny for 10 days.

  2. Don says:

    Thank god...maybe Johnson can come up and get hot and lend some stability to 1st base....OBS .430 & 30 home runs!
    are you kidding me....whats Pena OBS .2 and 100+ strikeouts
    Look at... yesterday the Rays only had 7 strike outs for the whole team aga. one of the best pitchers in baseball....thats how you win games....and did we REALLY miss Pena's defense?.....I don't see it!...come on DAN the MAN!

    • Rome says:

      Johnson is ok. He is not on the 40... He is having a great season in AAA. Johnson does not have the glove is will add error around the diamond. Frankly, I would rather take a chance on brining up a Leslie Anderson (who is on the 40-man) rather then waste time w/ the second coming of Kevin Witt. The Rays are in the middle or a divisional race. We need the best guy who will not just sit on a fast ball and caus error after error. Remember, this team is built on pitching and defense. DJo might be a mistake. But, then again, what do I know?

      • John S says:

        Maybe they are trying to rekindle the 2008 magic with the single largest, most important hit of that season. Johnson's homer in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Red Sox off Papelbon

        • Rome says:

          It was a great moment. Just what that game meant to 2008, just what he did, he came through right when the Rays needed DJo to come through. That being said, again, I say let's not be too quick to move Dan Johnson. I would rather Call Hank Blalock back then get Dan Johnson. Hank has proven he can produce on a consistant level in Majors. Dan Johnson, has proven that he has one great swing. That's my two cents.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Have Hickey, rough up Sonny in a pre game wrestling match and Sonny hasn't pitched in like 13 days, you'd only have DL him for 2 days and save the option...

  4. Chris says:

    Left out that when Balfour comes off DL someone also has to get pushed off the ledge. Time to flush Kapler (if you want to keep our Dan J)?

  5. Tom says:

    I thought Balfour was out until September? The Rosters will be at 40 by then.

  6. Dre says:

    I may have missed it, but who was moved to make room for Hellboy today? I know the obvious answer is Balfour, but I thought his spot was taken by Qualls. If not, who's spot did Qualls take? I'm obviously confused

    • John S says:

      Dre you are on the right track..

      Balfour was put on the DL for Qualls

      DL for Pena/Zobrist; or Sonnastine optioned for Hellboy's Appearance

      For Dan Johnson the other happen.

      Reading between the lines, it seems either Sonny is optioned so they keep pitcher for pitcher and then when the decision is made on the overall health of the Pena/Zobrist, Dan Johnson will come up with one of them heading to the DL.
      If the injuries are not that bad and need a quick fix then Zobrist will be DLed only to come back in like 5 days and Johnson will sent down. If it is Pena, then Pena is DL'ed and then Johnson will be up for a while (2 weeks)

  7. Gatorbuc15 says:


  8. John S says:

    Speaking of Dan Johnson, anyone know where we can find one of most important home runs in Rays history.

    I tried to search youtube and couldn't find anything. Any other suggestions?

    • Thad says:

      Enjoy. Only problem is that it's a NESN call.


  9. Thad says:

    My prediction:

    1) Pena/Zoby are still real close to coming back but will prob miss at least first few games of Twins series.
    2) Other than short bench, not a great enough injury need for DL stint for either Pena or Zoby
    3) Sonny to minors this afternoon
    4) Hellboy takes roster spot for spot start tonight
    5) Hellboy gets optioned back to Durham after game
    6) DJ Dan takes Hellboy spot on roster for this week and plays 1B (Duensing is only LHP in Twins rotation after Liriano who the Rays miss this week)
    7) Rays play man short in Bullpen and add one to bench until Pena/Zoby ready
    8) Rays unmatched positional flexibility makes all of this possible

  10. Alex says:

    A lot of you are going to be real dissapointed when Johnson comes up and hits .200 with only a handful of hr's if that and crappy defense. Just remember the back up QB is the most popular player on the team, and the Yankees showed us what happened when you sit your starter on Sunday.


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