ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings hit in a batting cage Thursday for the first time since fracturing his left middle finger on August 3.
Jennings is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday when the Rays open a series against the Orioles in Baltimore, a goal manager Joe Maddon sees as feasible.
"He's making nice progress," Maddon said. "[Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield] believes if he's not right on schedule, it isn't going to be far off that."
If necessary, Jennings would play in a rehab game Sunday, but a decision has not been reached.
Maddon acknowledged Jennings may not be at 100 percent upon his return and could have to play through pain.
"The biggest problem with a thing like that is mis-hitting a ball or swinging and missing can cause the most pain, or even on the defensive side," Maddon said. "Those are things you can guard against somewhat, but you may have to suck up a little buzz in the hand now and then. Desmond is a tough guy."
Rays take to community to lend helping hand
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays pitcher Matt Moore may be headed to the disabled list with a sore left elbow, but that did not keep him from having fun Friday with children at the two St. Petersburg recreation centers he sponsors as part of the Rays Dugout Club.
"I shot the basketball with my right hand and kicked a double in kickball," Moore said. "We're there to spread a message about eating well, staying positive and staying active. I know they had a good time interacting with me and I had a great time playing some of those schoolyard games."
Moore made his final visit of the summer to "The Moore Corps" prior to the series opener against the Blue Jays while pitcher David Price visited "Price's Pals" and outfielder Desmond Jennings checked in with "Jennings' Juniors."
Moore took over B.J. Upton's former clubs and said he is starting to feel like a familiar face there.
"It was a little more 'Matt' and a little less of 'Who's that?'" Moore said. "We're going to try to get out there more often. Next year, we'll try to restructure our visits so I'm not as much of a stranger around there."
Price, meanwhile, played dodgeball at his clubs and tweeted, "If you doubt my dodgeball skills just ask the kids at Campbell Park!! 95 from the left side ain't no joke!!"
If you doubt my dodgeball skills just ask the kids at Campbell Park!! 95 from the left side ain't no joke!!- David Price (@DAVIDprice14) August 16, 2013
Upon arriving at Tropicana Field, he admitted the radar reading was not quite that high.
"It was probably about 35 [mph], but I wasn't really throwing as hard as I could," he said. "I didn't want to pull anything. I just wanted to have fun. I got a couple kids out more by catching balls. I did dot a girl on her ankle. I hit my spots. I was pleased."
Myers, Longoria shrug off comparisons
ST. PETERSBURG -- Thursday's 7-1 win for the Rays presented a number of standout performances, but Wil Myers and Evan Longoria shined on the offensive side, combining for six RBIs.
Myers and Longoria are often compared because of their sparkling batting statistics and similar batting stances, but both agree the similarities end there.
"Mentally, although we're very similar in that we're both winners and we don't want to get out, we definitely go about our business in a different way," Longoria said. "I don't see what he does and I don't feel like I need to because his work ethic has been great since he came up. It's not my position to question what he does. It's working. All I hope is that continues and we continue to win.
"Whatever similarities anyone on the outside want to draw, that's fine but there are definitely more differences than there are similarities."
"We have different playing styles," Myers added. "We play different positions. We have similar stances, but we also have very different swings to the ball."
Rays manager Joe Maddon does not like to compare the two either.
"Both equally wonderful to be around, but just different guys," he said. "It's just set up more than it is batting styles. Their actual approach is entirely different for me. Wil is more choppy and Longo is more lengthy on the finish."
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.