ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura could return from a right oblique strain on Monday.
The former Japanese League star was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 24. The Devil Rays' biggest offseason acquisition was injured swinging the bat on a fifth-inning double one day earlier.
Iwamura was hitting .339 with one homer, five RBIs and 15 runs scored in 18 games. He played in his second extended spring training game Wednesday.
``He's doing very well,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ``He hasn't felt any pulling sensation in his side.''
A final decision is not expected until this weekend.
A six-time Gold Glove third baseman in Japan, Iwamura agreed to a $7.7 million, three-year contract in December. The Devil Rays paid a posting fee of $4.55 million, hiking their investment in the former Yakult Swallows star to $12.25 million.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Angels Prediction Will the Angels pull off the upset at home tonight against the Dodgers at 10:07PM ET?
Thumbnail Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Prediction Are the Diamondbacks an undervalued play for bettors tonight against the Cardinals at 8:40PM ET?
Thumbnail Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction Will the Orioles and Blue Jays fall short of the betting total tonight when the two teams meet at 7:07PM ET?
Thumbnail Cubs vs. Nationals Prediction Is the total set too high in tonight's Cubs and Nationals matchup at 7:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Athletics vs. Astros Pick After a surprising slip up on Tuesday, will the Houston Astros bounce back tonight against the Oakland Athletics at...

MLB Team Pages