Rays' Burrell to have neck exam

Updated: May 14, 2009, 1:48 AM ET
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Pat Burrell was sent back to Florida on Wednesday so he can have his sore neck examined by team doctors.

"It hasn't gotten any worse," Rays manager Joe Maddon said before his team's game against the Baltimore Orioles. "It's just not getting any better."

The problem affects the left side of Burrell's neck, above the shoulder, and makes it difficult for the right-handed hitter to properly face the pitcher and swing the bat, Maddon said.

"He really has a hard time when he's turning his head to see the pitcher," Maddon said. "It's awkward for him to turn all the way."

The 32-year-old Burrell signed a two-year, $16 million contract with Tampa Bay in January after spending nine seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is hitting .250 with one home run and 17 RBIs in 30 games this season.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press