NEW YORK (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays activated outfielder Desmond Jennings from the 15-day disabled list and have him batting leadoff for the opener of a three-game series against the New York Yankees.
Jennings has been out since May 12 because of a sprained left knee. The Rays went 12-13 in his absence — the team is also playing without slugger Evan Longoria for nearly as long.
The Rays optioned outfielder Rich Thompson to Triple-A Durham on Tuesday to clear a spot for Jennings.
Jennings will wear a brace for now but says he’s ready to play without limits. He went 3 for 15 (.200) in a four-game rehabilitation assignment with Durham.
Also, Hideki Matsui is making his first visit to New York with his new team. Manager Joe Maddon has the former Yankees star batting cleanup for his “flair for the dramatic.”