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OF Baldelli likely headed to DL with hamstring strain

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Slumping Tampa Bay outfielder
Rocco Baldelli could be headed for the 15-day disabled list with a left
hamstring strain.

The center fielder, who's in a 1-for-40 skid that's dropped his
batting average to .204, left Tuesday night's 4-3 victory over
Texas at Disney World after running out a grounder in the first
inning.

Baldelli strained his right hamstring during spring training and
was used mostly as a designated hitter for the first two weeks of
the season. He will return to St. Petersburg on Thursday to undergo
an MRI exam on his left hamstring.

"Hamstrings are one of those injuries that are difficult to put
a finger on right away," Devil Rays executive vice president of
baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, adding that Baldelli
likely will wind up on the DL.

"The good news is it's higher up in his leg, and that's better
than it being lower. ... The one he had in spring training was the
other leg. But it was lower, and that took him about 10 days."

Elijah Dukes replaced Baldelli in center field and batted
leadoff against the Rangers on Wednesday night.

"We're going to be very smart and very cautious with it,"
Friedman said. "We're fortunate to have the depth that we do and
the players that can step in. We want to ensure his long-term
health."