ST. PETERSBURG -- The Baseball Writers' Association of America presented Rays manager Joe Maddon and right-hander Jeremy Hellickson their BBWAA awards for 2011 American League Manager of the Year and 2011 AL Rookie of the Year before Friday night's game.
Neither was able to attend the BBWAA awards dinner in New York in January.
For Maddon, it was the second time he has won the award. Hellickson joined Evan Longoria as the only Rays to ever win the Rookie of the Year award.
Upton activated from disabled list
ST. PETERSBURG -- B.J. Upton (lower back) was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and catcher/outfielder Stephen Vogt was optioned to Triple-A Durham.
Upton was all smiles before Friday night's game against the Twins.
"This is where I wanted to be the whole time," Upton said. "Unfortunately, I had to do what I had to do to get back. But now that's all behind me. I'm ready to chip in any way I can to help this team win.
"... I had to go and get back into playing shape. I feel great ... where I'm at. ... We're obviously going to have to stay on top of [it], but it's not going to be something to keep me from playing."
Upton sustained his injury in an outfield collision with left fielder Desmond Jennings on March 14, when the Rays played the Marlins in an exhibition game in Port Charlotte, Fla. When the problem lingered, the Rays opted to take a conservative approach with Upton's rehab, resulting in his starting the season on the disabled list.
"Absolutely [it was the right approach]," Upton said. "At that point in spring, there was no reason to rush me back. I think we're looking at the long haul here. Not the short term.
"I think for the short term, it was definitely good for me to go down there and kind of gather myself, and kind of [get] back in the swing of things."
Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that it was "nice" having Upton back in center field.
"It will really balance out the defense," Maddon said. "We did do a good job [in Upton's absence]. ... Overall, we played our normal defense in the outfield. But it's good to get him back and Desmond back in that corner. So now the range really increases. And further, getting B.J. hot at the plate will be nice. The kind of offense he's able to provide for us, we're still looking for that."
Upton went 0-for-3 for the game.
Farnsworth feeling better
ST. PETERSBURG -- Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow strain) stood by his locker before Friday night's game and said things were going "good" and "a lot better."
"I'm feeling looser, I'm not throwing any," Farnsworth said. "But it feels so much better than before."
The Rays' closer said the inflammation is gone from the area, which means he is making progress toward throwing a baseball again.
"I'm not going to try and push it too much until it's ready," Farnsworth said.
Farnsworth had an elbow problem at the end of last season. So he was asked if he regretted not doing anything differently during the offseason to help overcome what appeared to be a continuation of the problem.
"What I should not have done is throw the splitty," he said. "But I did everything I could during the offseason. It was fine all during the offseason and during Spring Training. I think the main thing was trying to throw the splitty again and that's what irritated it the most."
Farnsworth explained why he found frustration in having the split-fingered fastball cause the problem.
"I never really needed it in the first place, anyway," Farnsworth said. "That was the bad thing about it. I have a changeup in case I do need something like that."
Farnsworth estimated that he will begin to throw in a week at the earliest. As for the job Fernando Rodney has done closing thus far, Farnsworth said: "Good. Very efficient."
Lobaton thinks he'll be back soon
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Lobaton is optimistic about making a quick return.
The Rays' catcher suffered right shoulder soreness in the team's April 12 game at Detroit. He had an MRI in St. Petersburg on Monday, and he said the good news was that while there was some inflammation, there was nothing seriously wrong with his shoulder.
"They just say I've got to wait," Lobaton said. "They don't think it's going to be long. ... Today, I feel much better. Today, I feel good. They say maybe [in] two or three days I'm going to throw."
Lobaton said that while he felt good on Friday, the Rays' training staff wants him to feel good for several days in a row before they have him try and throw.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.