07/30/07 8:31 PM ET
Notes: Crawford will play on Tuesday
Wrist not 100 percent but outfielder ready to return to lineup
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"It's straight," said Crawford when asked about his wrist.
Crawford had an MRI on Monday that showed no major damage.
"Everything is fine," he said. "They said it was nothing major. I took a couple of swings today. It still hurts. It's not like something magically is going to happen overnight."
Crawford said the wrist is not 100 percent and likely won't be 100 percent the rest of the season, but added: "It's playable."
The Rays All-Star said he hates not playing.
"That's just as bad as standing out in left field getting beat, 17-4," he said.
Though he did not start, Crawford was available on Monday night and is expected to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday night.
Friedman busy: Andrew Friedman, the Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, is a busy man these days with Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline looming.
"We're continuing to have conversations," Friedman said. "The volume of calls definitely picked up today. Any time you're approaching a deadline, a sense of urgency kind of picks up a little bit. That being said, I wouldn't characterize anything as close, or even likely to happen ... with the obvious caveat [that] things can change."
Friedman said the Rays have "a bunch of different conversations going with a bunch of different teams that involve a lot of different players."
"In some instances the players are on Major League rosters and others are prospects," Friedman said. "And those conversations are trickling along.
"We have a targeted list that we're focused on, that we've had for a while now, that we've reached out to teams and been the aggressor on. And in other instances, other teams have been the aggressor with us."
Friedman will remain active right up until 4 p.m. ET, when the deadline expires.
Former batboy starts: Former Rays batboy Jesse Litsch will start for the Blue Jays against his former employer Tuesday night.
"He was cool," said Crawford when asked about Litsch.
Litsch served as a Rays batboy from the 2000 through 2002 seasons. During that period, he told Crawford he would one day pitch against him. Crawford smiled at the unlikely prospect of such a bold statement coming to fruition.
"One of those baseball stories," Crawford said.
Wheeler arrives: Dan Wheeler made his Major League debut with the Rays on Sept. 1, 1999, against the Orioles. He stepped into the Rays clubhouse on Monday as a 29-year-old veteran.
"It's tough for me to hear that," said Wheeler with a smile. "To be the veteran guy, that's just the way it is, some years have passed."
Wheeler has had a nice journey, spending some quality time with the Astros, where he got to participate in postseason action.
"I've been fortunate to be around some veteran guys like David Weathers, Russ Springer, Johnny Franco, Mike Stanton and all of those guys," Wheeler said. "Hopefully I can help. Any little bit can help, we're all trying to do the same thing, win some ballgames."
Wheeler's wife, Stephanie, is the daughter of Dewayne Staats, the play-by-play man on Rays telecasts, which has allowed Wheeler to stay informed on what's going on with the Rays.
"I talk to [Staats] all the time," Wheeler said. "We're always talking baseball. I always keep up with former teams and guys I know. I'm a baseball fan. I just love baseball."
Wheeler is happy to be reunited with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, who was the pitching coach with the Astros before coming to the Rays this season.
"I think we have a great relationship," Wheeler said. "I'm looking forward to working with him again. I was disappointed when Houston let him go. I didn't think it was right. But that wasn't my decision. They brought in a guy, Dave Wallace, I really liked him too. I'm really looking forward to working with Hick again. I think it's going to be a good situation."
This and that: Right-hander Jae Kuk Ryu was optioned to Triple-A Durham Sunday, where he will once again become a starter. ... With Ty Wigginton gone, Josh Wilson becomes the team's emergency catcher. ... The Rays have wanted to see Brendan Harris play second base all season, but have not had the opportunity. Now they will primarily use Wilson and Ben Zobrist at shortstop and use Wilson at second. ... Maddon said there is nothing new on the progress of Rocco Baldelli [left hamstring strain]. "No significant progress," Maddon said. "No finish line in sight, none of that kind of stuff. It's kind of status quo."
Up next: The Rays will play the second game of their three-game series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-10, 7.00) will start for the Rays and will be opposed by right-hander Jesse Litsch (3-4, 4.01).
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.