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Archer likely OK after comebacker hits forearm

MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays ace Chris Archer exited a Minor League game on Friday after a fifth-inning comebacker struck him on the outside of his right forearm, his pitching arm.

Despite his removal, the right-hander said he didn't expect his Opening Day start against the Red Sox next Thursday at Tropicana Field to be affected.

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays ace Chris Archer exited a Minor League game on Friday after a fifth-inning comebacker struck him on the outside of his right forearm, his pitching arm.

Despite his removal, the right-hander said he didn't expect his Opening Day start against the Red Sox next Thursday at Tropicana Field to be affected.

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"Nothing has changed," Archer said. "Just like if I got hit on the shin. Nothing has changed whatsoever."

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"Just a comebacker off the forearm," Archer said when asked to describe what happened. "It's just a bruise. Just in kind of an awkward place, but not on the bone. My plan was to go 100 pitches, but I guess I'm just going to use it as my condensed start, and my extra day of rest is even more important now.

"I wasn't scared when I stood up and felt where it hit me; I knew that it didn't hit the bone. And you can get the inflammation out pretty quick, so I wasn't scared."

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Archer said if the injury had occurred in a regular-season game, he would have contemplated staying in the game.

"But the situation we're in, there's no reason to push it at all," Archer said. "I've already pitched into the sixth inning. I don't know how it will affect my pitch count on Opening Day, but I've already pitched into the sixth inning. There was no reason to try and force anything."

Archer doesn't anticipate any problems when he throws his scheduled bullpen session on Monday.

"I'm going to follow my normal routine and go from there," Archer said. "I will have more of an update for you Monday after my bullpen."

Video: Archer discusses being named the Opening Day starter

Rays manager Kevin Cash managed a smile when asked about the scare of hearing that his ace's throwing arm had been hit by a ball in a Minor League game.

"Yeah, when I'm not there to see it, and I hear it, [it's scary]," said Cash, who was managing the Rays' 6-5 win over the Blue Jays at the time. "But from what I'm hearing, [it was a] very precautionary decision. He should be fine."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays