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03/07/07 7:00 PM ET

Notes: Crawford treating sore wrist

Speedy left fielder deals with minor tendinitis in left hand

ST. PETERSBURG -- Carl Crawford can be seen before workouts this spring wearing a clear plastic bag wrapped on his left hand that extends midway up his forearm. Underneath the bag, Devil Rays trainers have applied hot wax.

"It doesn't hurt or nothing," Crawford said.

The Rays' left fielder isn't employing the hot wax treatment to peel away unwanted hair, rather it's a therapeutic treatment for his left wrist.

"Once [the wrist is] hot, it just kind of heats it up and it loosens it up," Crawford said. "I've been doing it every day; it's been feeling good."

Crawford ended the 2005 season on the bench while nursing a sore left wrist. This spring, he said he knows how to "attack [the injury] better."

"Last year, I didn't know what to expect," Crawford said. "I was all nervous and stuff. Nobody knew what it was last year, either."

Crawford now knows the root of his ailment.

"What it is is tendinitis," Crawford said. "I thought I might have had some joints hurting or something. Tendinitis, you just have to keep it loose -- take Advil, that kind of stuff, you know."

Crawford is looking pretty healthy this spring, particularly on the basepaths, where the reigning American League stolen-base king has three steals in three attempts, including two Wednesday against the Indians.

Reyes fan: Rays manager Joe Maddon likes what he sees from veteran right-handed reliever Al Reyes.

"I am [a fan of Reyes]," Maddon said. "[It's been impressive] watching him in the 'pen and stuff. Really, what he's done in the past, he's a pitcher. I think he's the kind of guy -- he can almost help anybody in the Major Leagues right now out of the bullpen because the breaking ball, the changeup, the savvy. He's got this inner confidence that I like, the veteran experience. I think we're going to be pleasantly surprised by what he does."

Dukes at bat: Highly touted prospect Elijah Dukes is trying to make the team as the fourth outfielder. Maddon complimented Dukes by saying he is one of the more advanced of the organization's youngsters in relation to his work in the batter's box.

"Because he's willing to work an at-bat, he's willing to accept a walk," Maddon said. "And again, why he's like that, I don't know where that training came from, whether it's instinctive or not. Which is why I think you're looking at such a bright future for this young man. But he has these instinctive things about him that are hard to teach.

"I don't know how much baseball he played before getting to pro ball, but instinctively, he sees things in a baseball way and a good way. He has a very flat swing, which I think promotes backspin on a baseball, and because of that, I think you're going to see him hit a lot of line drives. And he can juice up the velocity because of that swing also."

We and us: Maddon uses the term "we us" for the daily report he offers to the team prior to the morning workout.

"What are the real pronouns?" Maddon said. "We and us. So the report every day is the 'we and us' report, and it's about pronouns. [We'll be better] if we can utilize 'we' and 'us' more often and eliminate 'I' and 'me.' And I also hate 'they.' 'They' bothers me, too. I hate 'they.' I don't like 'they,' I don't like 'I,' but I really like 'we' and 'us.' So we're going to try and use the appropriate pronouns."

Maddon's comments to the team have a recurring theme.

"We talk about yesterday's game," he said. "[We talk about] the concepts we're trying to put out there, what they did well, if we had a chance to do it and did not accomplish it."

This and that: Left-hander Jon Switzer took a line drive off his right wrist in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game; preliminary X-rays of his wrist revealed no break. ... Baseball America recently released its Top 100 Prospects list and the Rays had seven players make the cut. ... Recovering right-handers Shinji Mori and Doug Waechter were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Up next: The Rays travel to Bradenton's McKechnie Field on Thursday afternoon to play the Pirates in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Left-hander Scott Kazmir will start for the Rays and will be followed by right-handers Mitch Talbot, Shawn Camp, Rudy Lugo, Seth McClung and Jeff Niemann. Right-hander John Wasdin will get the nod for the Pirates.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.