Meadows (thumb) targeting Friday for return

May 7th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- After missing the past couple of weeks with a fractured right thumb suffered April 20, outfielder could return to the Rays' lineup as early as Friday against the Yankees.

Meadows, who went through a full workout with the Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday, played five innings in right field in an extended camp game on Tuesday, going 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s scheduled to play seven innings in right field on Wednesday.

“We’re getting close,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He had a full day yesterday and felt good. We had actually talked about waiting one more day, but after his work he said he felt like he could play, and he went and played five innings.”

Before the injury, Meadows was one of the best hitters in the American League, posting a .351/.422/.676 slash line in 20 games with six home runs, 19 RBIs and three stolen bases. Getting Meadows back would give the Rays another lefty-hitting weapon in the lineup.

“We’ve missed him a lot,” Cash said. “What Austin was providing for us offensively, it just made our lineup that much deeper.”

When he returns, Meadows will likely go back to hitting leadoff against right-handed pitchers, which would allow Brandon Lowe to slide down into the middle of the lineup and lengthen the batting order.

More injury updates
Right-hander , who was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with right shoulder inflammation, said he feels like he’s close to returning to the Rays' bullpen after throwing a 20-pitch bullpen session at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.

“The MRI came back really good,” Wood said. “No worries or anything like that. We’re kind of just building up.”

Wood is scheduled to pitch one inning in an extended camp game on Friday. The team will then decide whether to activate him or have him appear in another game.

“I don’t know if it’ll be just one appearance or not,” Cash said. “We’ll see how he gets through the first one.”

Wood has yet to allow a run and has seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings over four appearances this season.

As for rehabbing right-hander Brent Honeywell, the Rays' No. 2 prospect and baseball's No. 26 per MLB Pipeline, Cash said that he is still not throwing off the mound and will be re-evaluated later this week. Honeywell, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery in February 2018, has been shut down for the past couple of weeks with soreness in his right forearm.

“He’s kind of on a non-throwing thing,” Cash said. “He’s scheduled to get checked out again sometime later in the week.”