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Rocco Baldelli


Baldelli was a late scratch Thursday because of right hamstring soreness. He has made 44 starts since being activated from the DL on June 7 after missing 221 consecutive games with left knee, right elbow and hamstring injuries. Baldelli was hurt running out a grounder on Wednesday.


Baldelli left in the sixth inning of the Devil Rays 10-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday after being hit on the arm by a pitch from Jason Grilli. He was replaced by Damon Hollins and is expected to play in Wednesday's contest, despite the bruised right biceps.


Baldelli, who has yet to play a regular-season game because of a left hamstring injury, has been taking groundballs at first base in preparation for his return. The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Baldelli will be starting in center field when he is ready, but first base presents another option to stay in the lineup while giving his hamstring a rest.


Baldelli was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left hamstring strain. The move is retroactive to March 24, which means the Devil Rays' center fielder won't be able to play until April 8. The team said Baldelli will determine when he's ready to return. The 24-year-old missed all of last season with knee and elbow injuries.


Baldelli may not be ready for opening day for the Devil Rays due to a sore left hamstring. The 24-year-old was sidelined for 17 months and missed the entire 2005 season with a surgically repaired knee. He may know by Wednesday if he will be ready for opening day when the Devil Rays visit the Baltimore Orioles on April 3.


Baldelli is optimistic that he might return for opening day after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June to replace a torn ligament in his right elbow. The Tampa Bay center fielder had 26 outfield assists from 2003-04, the third-highest total in the major leagues.


The new ownership group of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Baldelli have agreed to a long-term contract that could keep the 24-year-old outfielder with the Rays through his 20s. The deal guarantees him $9 million over the next three seasons and reportedly could be worth more than $32 million over six years.


Baldelli underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Thursday. The Tampa Bay outfielder will need 8-9 months to be ready for game action, so look for the 23-year-old Baldelli to be vying to return to the Rays' outfield for Opening Day 2006. He didn't play a major league game this season, as he started the year on the disabled list following knee surgery in November.


Baldelli injured his right elbow working out at the Tampa Bay complex in Florida earlier this week, and he will be examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham on Wednesday. It's conceivable that Baldelli, who has been out all year following offseason knee surgery, could go under the knife for Tommy John surgery.

Baldelli will have Tommy John surgery next week and miss the entire season. The 23-year-old outfielder has not played for Tampa Bay in 2005, as he has been on the disabled list all spring following knee surgery last November.


Now playing extended spring training games, Baldelli is targeting sometime around the All-Star break for his return. The Tampa Bay center fielder underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last November. He might start a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Montgomery in 10-14 days.


Recovering from November knee surgery, Baldelli has started playing in extended spring training games in the Tampa Bay camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays' outfielder is expected to return to major league action sometime in June.