NEW YORK -- Ben Zobrist and his wife had their second child Monday, a baby girl the couple named Kruse.
The Rays infielder/outfielder returned in time to pinch-hit during the eighth inning of Tampa Bay's 4-2 loss to the Yankees in Game 1 of its doubleheader on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Zobrist struck out swinging.
Maddon was asked before the game if he felt Zobrist should have already been back.
"For me, family's always first," Maddon said. "And from what I understand, there was a little procedure with the baby this morning also that he wanted to be present for. Listen, I would never interfere with something like that or even try to influence that decision. For me, it's up to the individual."
Maddon said the baby "is fine."
"It wasn't anything serious, but there was something being done. I can understand why he wanted to be there," Maddon said.
Maddon was asked if he thought Zobrist was conflicted in any way about whether to be with his wife during and after the delivery or be with the team.
"Zo's never conflicted," Maddon said. "Zo's not a conflicted person, and he knew exactly what he thought was the right thing to do, and he conveyed that to me. And when you talk to a guy like Zo, I pretty much just listen. I'm not going to try and influence the way he thinks. So he told me what he thought and how he wanted to do it. And again, if you knew him like I know him, that was good enough for me."
Farnsworth feels fine after throwing from mound
NEW YORK -- Kyle Farnsworth threw from a mound on Wednesday for the first time since exiting the Rays' Sept. 10 game with tenderness in his right elbow, and the Tampa Bay closer reported that everything felt fine.
"I threw 45 pitches off the mound, threw all of my pitches, everything felt good," Farnsworth said. "I felt rusty, but I expected that since I haven't been on a mound in a week and a half.
"[There were] no real issues or anything like that, [I was] just trying to get the feel for it again. [I] threw my slider, my cutter, all my pitches. [I] thought it went pretty well."
Farnsworth, who has a team-leading 23 saves, said he was "kind of hesitant to let it go a little bit."
"I didn't want to make it worse," Farnsworth said. "[I'm] going to have to do it sooner or later, so I let a few of them go and it felt pretty good."
When asked if he had a timetable for his return, Farnsworth said it would depend on how he felt on Thursday.
"And hopefully, if I feel good tomorrow, I would say [I would be ready] for the homestand [which begins Friday]," Farnsworth said.
Rays announce free parking for Friday
NEW YORK -- Prior to Game 1 of Wednesday's Rays-Yankees doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced that there will be free parking in any general Rays-controlled lots at Tropicana Field for Friday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays.
Lots will open four hours prior to the game, and fans are encouraged to arrive early. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, and it is subject to availability. Reserved spots and reserved parking permits will still be honored.
The free parking is offered in addition to all of the Friday Fest elements, including a free DJ Kitty Rally T-shirt to the first 10,000 fans in attendance. Tickets start at $12. For tickets, visit raysbaseball.com.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.