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05/12/08 11:37 PM ET

Rays activate Zobrist from disabled list

Utility infielder returns; Cannizaro designated for assignment

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays activated Ben Zobrist from the 15-day disabled list and designated infielder Andy Cannizaro for assignment following Monday's 7-1 win over the Yankees.

Zobrist juggled positions during the early part of Spring Training before he suffered a hairline fracture on the tip of his left thumb while sliding into second base during a March 9 game against the Reds. He was originally placed on the DL on March 29, retroactive to March 21.

The Rays' "super utility" player, Zobrist is coming off a four-game Minor League rehab stint at Class A Vero Beach, and he had the pins removed from his thumb Monday morning. At Vero Beach, Zobrist played multiple infield positions and was also the designated hitter, going 4-for-14 (.286) with two RBIs.

Manager Joe Maddon said Zobrist appeared to be at full strength taking batting practice prior to Monday's game, and the skipper's lone concern was whether Zobrist could comfortably squeeze his glove hand on the field.

Prior to the injury, Zobrist was batting .421 in eight Spring Training games, and is expected to be a valuable backup for shortstop Jason Bartlett, who has started 36 of the Rays' 38 games this season.

Cannizaro was 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat May 3 vs. Boston, substituting for Bartlett at shortstop.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.