6/28/2014 9:10 P.M. ET
Rays weighing whether Escobar needs DL stint
By David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Yunel Escobar was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Saturday. The Rays think they'll have a solid indication of how much longer he could be sidelined and whether a stint on the disabled list will be necessary on Sunday.
"Tomorrow, when they do their throwing thing, we'll know pretty much yes or no," Rays manager Joe Maddon said Saturday.
Escobar was planning on swinging the bat before Saturday's game against the Orioles and playing catch on Sunday before the series finale.
Sunday won't necessarily bring a decision, Maddon said, but by then, the team hopes to have a good sense of how much longer Escobar will need. If things don't look promising, the team could opt to place him on the DL.
Escobar hasn't played since leaving in the eighth inning of Tampa Bay's loss to the Pirates on Tuesday.
Maddon isn't rushing to make a decision on a DL stint, because the Rays haven't needed any reinforcements yet. Logan Forsythe, Ben Zobrist and Cole Figueroa are all capable of playing shortstop, and the Rays only needed to use six relief pitchers -- and no one for more than 1 1/3 innings -- during Friday's split doubleheader.
"From what Yunie talked to me about yesterday, he feels pretty strongly that he's going to be fine," Maddon said. "He felt pretty certain that it's getting better, that it's not anything that's going to put him down for a period of time."
With baby coming, McGee taking ASG buzz in stride
BALTIMORE -- Jake McGee knows a potential place in the All-Star Game is becoming a strong possibility. Before Friday's doubleheader against the Orioles, All-Star ballots were passed around to the Rays in the visitors' clubhouse at Camden Yards. McGee glanced at some of the ballots and saw his name.
But there are still other, more important thing he is concerned with. Of course, he could be called on to pitch during any game, but he also has a child coming -- perhaps right around the same time he could be in Minneapolis for the All-Star Game.
"Due date's still the 17th, but we're probably going try to induce on the ninth after the game," the relief pitcher said. "If we're ready that day, then we're ready. If not, then we'll wait."
The All-Star Game will be played on July 15 -- two days before McGee's wife Morgan is due. Tampa Bay plays the Royals in St. Petersburg on July 9 and is off the following day. That would give him one extra day before potentially taking a few days of paternity leave instead of having an All-Star conflict.
McGee is still far from a sure thing for the All-Star Game -- non-closing relievers rarely are certainties -- but his teammates and manager have been outspoken in support of the flame-throwing righty.
McGee is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings this season. He has walked just nine batters and notched three saves -- including one in Friday's matinee and a four-out save in the Rays' 5-4 win on Saturday.
The numbers are there and so is the vocal support, so even he can't ignore the buzz.
"I've thought about it with the pregnancy," McGee said. "Once I find out then we're going to go from there, instead of trying to stress about it too early without knowing or not, because it's definitely not 100 percent."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
• Maddon gave Evan Longoria a day to serve as the designated hitter on Saturday with fly-ball pitcher Erik Bedard on the mound against the Orioles. The manager wanted to give his third baseman a day off during the series and wanted him back in the field with Alex Cobb on the hill for the series finale on Sunday.
• Tampa Bay announced the signing of two more Draft choices on Saturday. The Rays signed 11th-round pick Spencer Moran, a right-handed pitcher from Mountain View High School (Ariz.). They also signed 23rd-rounder Zacrey Law, an outfielder from Robinson High School (Texas).
• Rays pitchers set the MLB strikeout record for the month of June during Friday's doubleheader. With 16 strikeouts, Tampa Bay sits at 259, breaking the previous record of 253. The record for any month is 286, set by the Cubs in 2002.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.