Forsythe out of starting lineup to rest back

Forsythe out of starting lineup to rest back

ST. PETERSBURG -- Logan Forsythe hadn't played the last two games for Tampa Bay, and he didn't start Friday's game against the Rangers, either. The Rays' second baseman felt his back spasm on Tuesday before a game and was scratched. He said on Wednesday that he expected to start on Friday, but he will evidently need more time.

"We're going to take it day by day now," Forsythe said. "See where it goes from there. As of now, we're going to let the doctors look at it tonight, see if they can see anything. Chiropractor's here, too. He's going to take a look and see if anything is out of place."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said it's possible that Forsythe could pinch-hit on Friday if necessary, but that he likely wouldn't risk further aggravating his back. Prior to this stretch of games, Forsythe had played every game since coming off the disabled list on June 10. Forsythe added that he didn't think this issue would lead to another DL stint.

Also of note
Nick Franklin is back and good to go after being removed from Wednesday's game following a hit to the head. Franklin was clocked in the helmet on the backswing of Kevin Kiermaier as they both stood in the on-deck circle in the first inning. Franklin underwent two concussion tests and cleared them. He wasn't in the starting lineup, but he was available to play. Franklin joked that he took full responsibility for the incident, and that Kiermaier didn't have to repay him.

Matt Duffy didn't play on Wednesday and was taken out mid-game on Tuesday with soreness in his left Achilles. It was the same Achilles that forced him to the disabled list in June. After a little time off, though, the shortstop said he felt better and was put in Friday's starting lineup.

"I wasn't concerned. It was just soreness, which on and off after the injury was going to be expected," said Duffy, who had the foot taped up. "It's about managing it, making sure it doesn't get to the point where it's anything serious."

Chase Whitley was back in the Tampa Bay clubhouse to throw a bullpen session on Friday despite being optioned to Double-A Montgomery on Wednesday following his activation from rehab from Tommy John surgery. He was optioned to keep his innings up -- innings that weren't available at the Majors level yet.

"That would have been nice," Whitley said of rejoining the MLB club. "But at the same time, I want to pitch … I'm just thankful. I'm thankful everything has worked out the way it has. It's the glory of God. It's been a long 15, 16 months."

Enny Romero started for Charlotte on Thursday and threw one spotless inning for the Stone Crabs as he rehabs from a strained back. He threw 18 pitches and recorded two strikeouts.

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