ST. PETERSBURG -- Two Rays outfielders are set to begin rehab assignments on their way back from a once-crowded disabled list.
Matt Joyce is slated to join Triple-A Durham and play on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Saturday, Sam Fuld will begin his rehab assignment, which could last as long as 20 days, with Class A Advanced Charlotte in Palm Beach, Fla.
Tampa Bay has struggled since Joyce went on the 15-day disabled list, posting a 4-9 record entering Tuesday since an oblique strain sidelined the slugger.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said on Tuesday that Joyce will be evaluated after each game he plays.
"He felt pretty good today, so we'll see if we could keep him to a minimum based on how he feels and then react from there," Maddon said.
Maddon added that there is a possibility Joyce could rejoin the Rays during their upcoming series at Cleveland, but he doesn't want Joyce to play if he's not feeling up to it.
"If you win one or two games because he's playing in Cleveland, that's also a way to look at it," Maddon said of activating Joyce before the All-Star break. "Of course I don't want any long-term detriments."
Fuld, meanwhile, hasn't played a game yet this season due to right wrist surgery. Fuld said he may not need the fully allotted period for his rehab assignment, but it will take time.
"I'm going to have to play it by ear and see how it goes," Fuld said. "Obviously, I'm going to need more time than Matt Joyce is going to need, or even [Evan Longoria]. I'm going to need a good at least two weeks, I think."
Fuld said he had never missed an extended amount of time, as he has this year. He added that one of the biggest adjustments will be regaining his timing at the plate, but he was optimistic that his legs will hold up over the course of a game because he has been able to keep in shape by running.
Fuld said he will likely play five innings in his first game back before serving as a designated hitter on Sunday.
One player also on the disabled list who won't be making the trip to Cleveland is Longoria, the Rays' third baseman.
Maddon said the Rays slugger will stay back to work out with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, adding that the club will have a better idea how to handle Longoria's progress after the All-Star break.
'Calm' mechanics the difference for Zobrist
ST. PETERSBURG -- Ben Zobrist saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end during Monday night's 4-3 Rays win over the Yankees.
Nevertheless, he is still on a tear.
Since June 7, Zobrist is hitting .385 (30-for-78) with 12 extra-base hits, 15 walks, and 13 RBIs in 22 games. During that span, he has enjoyed 11 multihit games and has raised his average 53 points. It's a stark contrast from the last time the Rays faced the Yankees in New York (from June 5-7), when Zobrist could be seen working diligently prior to each game, trying to find his mechanics.
"It feels very consistent since then; it's a lot more calm [at bat]," Zobrist said. "For me, it's just consistency. No longer am I going, 'Well, what should I try today? What should I work on?'"
Zobrist now finds himself in a different situation -- he's trying to perpetuate a hot streak rather than searching to find the right feel at the plate.
"Once you feel like your swing is where it needs to be, then it's more about what the other pitcher wants to do," Zobrist said. "I've been able to focus a lot more on what the pitcher might do to me.
"So you can just think about the ball and what the ball might do. I've been fortunate the last month, since I feel like I've gotten my mechanics where they need to be. All of a sudden, you can have an actual approach without feeling like every time you swing the bat, something is breaking down."
Zobrist won't deny the obvious, that swinging the bat well is a lot better than not.
"I've enjoyed it -- yeah, of course," Zobrist said. "You always enjoy success, I think. But at the same time, over the course of that time, we haven't played that well as a team. It's hard to enjoy it when you're not playing well as a team.
"I guess the biggest thing is you enjoy when you play well, and it helps the team win, because that's what we're really trying to do. If you play well and the team loses, you're kind of like, 'I'm glad I did well, but in the end, it didn't really work out for the team.' What you want is for everybody to be clicking on all cylinders so in the end, you win the game. And it's been tough to do that lately."
Wedding at The Trop unforgettable to Lobaton
ST. PETERSBURG -- Home plate was already a special place for Rays catcher Jose Lobaton. Before Monday's 4-3 win over the Yankees, it became even more so.
Lobaton married his wife, Nina, on Monday morning, with teammate Carlos Pena serving as the best man.
"It was a moment I'm never going to forget -- for me, for my wife," Lobaton said.
The private ceremony was originally supposed to be held in the Rays' clubhouse, but it was moved to the field and set up seamlessly by members of the Rays' staff.
"They called me at 10 at night [on Sunday] and said, 'Everything is set up for tomorrow,'" Lobaton said. "I said, 'Really?' They said, 'Yeah, just go there at 10 tomorrow.'"
Lobaton said he and his wife have been together for three years and engaged for one. There was only one hiccup during the ceremony. When Lobaton slipped the ring on his bride's finger, he didn't have any vows prepared and had to improvise on the spot.
"I said, 'Really? No one told me,'" Lobaton joked. "I think it must have been good, because Carlos' wife was crying."
The native of Venezuela was without his family and said they may hold another ceremony once he returns home after the baseball season.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.