MIAMI -- Monday was another step in the right direction for Rays third baseman Matt Duffy, who continues to work through a left hamstring injury that has sidelined him since Spring Training.
Duffy, who was moved to the 60-day injured list on Friday, played in a rehab game with Class A Advanced Charlotte on Monday and went 1-for-2 with a walk, with bench coach Matt Quatraro and field coordinator Paul Hoover in attendance.
“He played well,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “They went down and watched him play. They said Duffy looked good; he got a base hit up the middle but not much action at third.”
There’s still no definitive timetable for Duffy’s return or how the Rays will approach his rehab. But Tampa Bay will take it easy with Duffy, who hasn’t been able to get to 100 percent. He took part in batting practice and drills throughout the homestand that ended Sunday.
Duffy hit .294/.361/.366 with four home runs in 132 games with Tampa Bay last season.
Wood’s rehab outing
Hunter Wood also made an appearance on Monday for Charlotte. The right-hander pitched two innings and threw 22 pitches in the rehab outing.
Cash said it was unclear what the next step would be. He will sit down with pitching coach Kyle Snyder and general manager Erik Neander over the next few days to decide what’s next.
“I heard [Monday’s outing] went OK,” Cash said. “I’m going to sit with Kyle and Erik, probably to talk about the next step with him going forward and whether he makes another [rehab appearance]. If he makes another one, whether it’s in Port Charlotte or whether it’s in Durham.”
Wood, who has been sidelined since May 2 with right shoulder soreness, has made four appearances with Tampa Bay this season, posting a 0.00 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
Rays complete Font trade
On Monday, the Rays received 18-year-old pitcher Neraldo Catalina from the Mets to complete the Wilmer Font trade. Catalina is a 6-foot-6 right-hander who has a 95-mph fastball, according to Baseball America. He has yet to make his pro debut after signing with the Mets during the 2018 international signing period.
Lowe struggles at the plate
Brandon Lowe earned the Rookie of the Month Award in April. But in his past 14 at-bats, he has just one hit, with 11 strikeouts. It isn’t the first time Lowe has gone through a rough stretch; last season, Lowe began his big league career by going 0-for-19.
Cash thinks a lot of Lowe's recent struggles are attributable to missing some fastballs over the plate, which he didn’t do during his hot start.
“I think he’s missed some fastballs that he was hitting early on,” Cash said. “I think pitchers have recognized breaking balls and changeups can get any hitter, but it has given him issues lately. It’s kind of on him to make an adjustment.
“I think Brandon will be the first to tell you that he’s gotten plenty of fastballs. When he was going so good, he wasn’t missing anything. Now he’s fouling off or swinging through some fastballs that he was handling, and he’s putting himself behind in the count.”
During the recent cold stretch, Lowe has seen his batting average drop 25 points to .286.
Franco keeps climbing in the rankings
Top Rays prospect and 18-year old phenom Wander Franco continues to climb in the MLB Pipeline rankings after a recent update moved the shortstop up from No. 12 to No. 5. Expect him to move up to the No. 1 spot once Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., San Diego’s Fernando Tatis, Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez and Cincinnati’s Nick Senzel play in enough big league games to graduate from the list.