ST. PETERSBURG -- Jason Bartlett was a last-minute scratch from Thursday's game vs. the Yankees as the shortstop left Tropicana Field around 3 p.m. ET to tend to a family matter.

The infielder had started in 38 of the Rays' first 40 games, and in addition to being a defensive cornerstone, was batting .237 with eight RBIs.

In his place, the Rays penciled in utilityman Ben Zobrist, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Zobrist opened the season on the DL after fracturing his left thumb in Spring Training, and is coming off a four-game rehab stint with Class A Vero Beach last week.

The Rays' Opening Day shortstop in 2007, Zobrist made his first appearance with the Major League squad this year, after going 4-for-14 with two RBIs in Vero Beach.

It is unknown whether Bartlett will travel with the team tonight to St. Louis, in preparation for a six-game road trip starting Friday.