Guyer out with 'mild' oblique strain

With outfielder unavailable for a few days, Souza to play center field

Guyer out with 'mild' oblique strain

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Outfielder Brandon Guyer will sit out at least a few days this week after sustaining what Rays manager Kevin Cash called a "mild strain" in his lat/oblique area.

Cash couldn't specify the nature of the injury and just said that Guyer "tweaked something mildly" while taking batting practice on Friday.

"He gets after it so hard in the offseason and stuff. We just said, 'Let's slow him down for two, three days and see where we're at,'" Cash said Saturday morning. "Everything right now is very, very minor."

Guyer, 29, went 0-for-2 on Thursday against the Orioles in his only Grapefruit League action thus far. He hit .266/.334/.367 in 97 games last season.

With Guyer unavailable on Saturday, the Rays reshuffled their outfield alignment by starting Steven Souza Jr. in center field. Tampa Bay wants to get Desmond Jennings comfortable in left field again, as he spent the last two years exclusively in center after playing mostly left field during his first two seasons in the Majors.

Kevin Kiermaier would seem to be the most logical fit in center field, but the Rays want to see Souza there as well. They didn't expect to test him out there this early on in Spring Training, but Guyer's injury allowed them to realign their outfield.

"Our intent was eventually to get him some playing time in center field. It just worked out where, rather than shuffling everything, just make an easy flip-flop," Cash said. "We're kind of wanting Jennings to stay in left more."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.