Kiermaier, Webb, Guyer progressing in rehab

Rays sign five Draft picks, including pitcher Franklin

Kiermaier, Webb, Guyer progressing in rehab

ST. PETERSBURG -- Several of Tampa Bay's five players on the disabled list are getting set to take the next steps in their rehabilitation. Last season, when the Rays were ravaged by injuries, manager Kevin Cash had an update board with all the players' names next to the desk in his office.

When asked about all the injuries on Tuesday, Cash joked it was time to open up the board again, which has spent all of the 2016 season out of view.

Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier will start work to strengthen his hand on Wednesday with hand specialist Dr. Douglas Carlan before getting another X-ray on Friday. He said there is still significant swelling in his left hand, but he said he's looking forward to taking the next step and starting to strengthen it.

"He's shagging out there right now with his right hand," Cash said. "He looks like he could play for us right now, the way he goes and tracks balls down."

Relief pitcher Ryan Webb, who has been sidelined since May 27, will throw an inning for Class A Advanced Charlotte on Wednesday as he works his way back from a pectoral strain.

Outfielder Brandon Guyer, who said he hoped to miss the minimum 15 days with a left hamstring strain, will likely be out for an extended period of time. He's been throwing the ball, but a timetable on his return isn't clear.

"It's going to take some time," Cash said.

Pitchers Chase Whitley and Alex Cobb, both rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, are still a ways away, Cash said. But he did add that Cobb could have a schedule to start throwing live batting practice sessions and simulated games within the next couple of days.

Rays sign four
The Rays signed pitcher Austin Franklin, their third-round Draft pick from Paxton High School in Florida, for $600,000. He was at Tropicana Field on Tuesday to sign the contract and meet people in the organization. He talked with Whitley and Cobb in the clubhouse. Franklin will drive up to Port Charlotte, Fla., on Wednesday and begin playing with the Gulf Coast League Rookie league team when their season starts next week.

"It finally set in once I signed the contract," Franklin said.

The Rays also inked four other Draft picks on Tuesday. Brandon Lawson, a pitcher taken in the 12th round, signed. Pitcher Joe Serrapica (24th round), catcher Jean Ramirez (28th round) and shortstop Deion Tansel (32nd round) also inked their first professional baseball contracts with Tampa Bay.

Sam Blum is a reporter for based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.