Evan Longoria was activated from the 15-day disabled list yesterday after the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman said he felt "almost 100 percent" after 30 swings with a bat.
"I don't know how much better it could get," Longoria said. "It felt great today."
He is hitting .278 with 22 homers and 71 RBIs in 104 games and is considered a leading contender for American League Rookie of the Year.
He'll likely be used as a defensive replacement for the time being, with manager Joe Maddon saying he wants Longoria to get two or three days of regular batting practice before he returns to the lineup.
Longoria had been swinging a Wiffle-ball bat and a broomstick in the past week because the weight of a regular bat was too much for his wrist.
"I took about 15 swings with the fungo and it felt fine," Longoria said. "Then I got about 30 swings with the regular bat and it felt pretty much the same as swinging the fungo, which is obviously a good sign."
More Rays:: Outfielder Carl Crawford, who had surgery to repair a tendon in his right middle finger Aug. 14, visited his doctor in Arizona on Thursday and remains on schedule to return by late September. A two-time All-Star and four-time AL stolen base champion, Crawford is batting .273 with eight homers, 57 RBIs and 25 steals.
Diamondbacks:: Randy Johnson was scratched from today's start against the Dodgers because of a sore left shoulder. Johnson, who turns 45 on Wednesday, will be replaced by right-hander Max Scherzer. Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said Johnson (10-9), winless in his past four starts, would miss one turn, returning to the rotation Saturday against the Reds.
Nationals:: Jason Bergmann was removed from the rotation. Bergmann (2-11) is 1-10 in his past 20 games after giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings of Friday night's loss to the Braves.