Rookie Robertson set to step in at second

Cash expects big things from infielder now that Miller's on DL and he's a starter

Rookie Robertson set to step in at second

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays infielder Daniel Robertson got the start at second base against the Yankees on Friday, and manager Kevin Cash is excited that the 23-year-old rookie will have a chance to play regularly with Brad Miller on the disabled list.

Robertson, who was batting .183 with three home runs in 24 games entering Friday, has played at second base, third base, shortstop and left field this season.

Cash said he expects Robertson to be more comfortable at the plate with extended playing time.

"[Robertson] has done some good things for us, especially on the defensive side of the ball," Cash said. "He's played tremendously wherever we've asked him to play. But this will probably help get his timing going a little bit. It's tough for a young player to come up here and play sporadically or not that much at all, so it should help Robbie a little bit."

Cash said that infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez, who was just acquired from the Indians on Thursday, will also be available.

"I'm excited that we have Michael Martinez to fill in; he's super versatile," Cash said. "We know we got to get Brad back as soon as possible. I don't think he's ever been on the DL. Saying that, every time he's been nicked up, he's shown the ability to be a quick healer. Hopefully that stays true."

Worth noting

• Cash said catcher Wilson Ramos (right knee surgery) took batting practice Friday, and the manager was impressed with what he saw. "He was hitting the ball really hard and a long way," Cash said. "He was hitting balls where you don't see many balls go."

• Shortstop Matt Duffy (left heel surgery) has been taking ground balls and participating in batting practice, but there is no timetable on his return to the lineup.

• Right-hander Tommy Hunter (right calf strain) is expected to throw a bullpen session Saturday.

Corey Long is a contributor to based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.