Sprained left ankle lands Bartlett on DL
Injury gives other players a chance to show their stuff
CLEVELAND -- Shortstop Jason Bartlett, the second-leading hitter in the American League, was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a sprained left ankle.Bartlett, who is batting .373, was injured while taking a throw at second base in the 10th inning of Sunday's game against the Marlins. He didn't play Monday night and the decision to DL him was made Tuesday afternoon. "It's very sore," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's in a bad spot."
Bartlett has been having an outstanding season. In 44 games, he has 11 doubles, seven homers, 30 RBIs and 14 stolen bases while making four errors.Maddon is hoping Bartlett will only be out for a couple of weeks. "I don't think it's awful," Maddon said. "He's having an All-Star season. There's no getting around it. All facets of his game have been special. We need him back quickly." Bartlett's injury comes at the same time the Rays learned second baseman Akinori Iwamura will be out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. "It's not the way you would ever draw it up, but we've gone through a lot of adversity in the past," Maddon said. "We went through that last season also. I've often believed when you go through some difficult moments a lot of good things can actually occur." As was the case Monday night, Reid Brignac started at short with Willy Aybar at second base. Brignac made a throwing error in the ninth inning Monday night, helping the Indians rally with seven runs in an 11-10 win. "Some people will have the chance to step up and become players," Maddon said. "If we're able to hold the line on that while the others are getting well, they will be fresh for the rest of the year." Maddon believes staying positive is important during times like this. "It's all about how you channel things, how you look at the moment and your outlook," Maddon said. "I really believe there are some positives that can be drawn from it. If we all commit together and understand people are getting an opportunity right now and we can coach them up. As a group of players, you have to support each other." Infielder Joe Dillon's contract was selected from Triple-A Durham. To make room on the 40-man roster, Iwamura was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
Steve Herrick is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.