Rays Kiermaier To Undergo MRI On Left Thumb
Oh no! It happened again! For the third season in a row it appears that Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is going to miss a chunk of the season due to injury.
He injured his right thumb on an awkward slide into second base during the first inning. He remained in the game to run but exited the game after being unable to grip a baseball between innings.
Thumb Injury 2018:
Kevin Kiermaier appears to injure his thumb while sliding into second base and exits the game later on after being visited by the trainer (00:58)
— Ballpark Videos (@BallparkVids) April 15, 2018
Neither Kiermaier, nor Manager Kevin Cash were optimistic regarding the injury after the game. “He’ going to get an MRI tomorrow.” said Cash. “Not too excited about the potential of it. I don’t want to get too far ahead of it, but he’s going to be out.”
“It’s unfortunate. It’s just another kind of freak accident.” Kiermaier said. “I can’t believe I’m saying this for a third year in a row now. Hardest part about all of this, is I feel I let a lot of people down.”
“Teammates, community, coaches. I harped on this in spring training. I said ‘I just want to stay healthy for all my teammates and I want to put my talents on display for a full year,’ and that’s in jeopardy right now.”
Like his Manager, Kiermaier is not expecting a positive result from the MRI saying “I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.”
Hip Injury 2017:
On June 8, 2017, Kiermaier sustained a hairline fracture in the hip area after sliding feet first into first base. He returned to the Rays on August 18th, missing 61-games. The team went 29-32 (.475) in his absence.
Hand Injury In 2016:
On May 21, 2016, Kiermaier broke his wrist making a diving attempt on a sinking line drive in Detroit. He returned to the club on July 15, missing 48 games. The Rays went just 14-34 (.292) in his absence.
How Injury Effects Roster:
The most logical choice to take Kiermaier’s spot in centerfield is current right fielder Carlos Gomez. This season Gomez has made ten starts in right field and three in center. Prior to this season, he had only made 12 career starts in right field and had made 950 in center. Last season with the Texas Rangers, Gomez made 91 starts in center and registered a -1 defensive runs saved (DRS) and a -3.4 ultimate zone rating per 150 games (UZR/150).
To take Kiermaier’s spot on the roster, the front office can elect to bring up recently acquired outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker or they could bring up Jake Bauers.ÃÂ Hazelbaker has appeared in 155 games over the past two seasons batting .258/.327/.500 spanning 285 plate appearances.ÃÂ The left handed hitting Hazelbaker has appeared in 63 games in left field, 27 in center, and 14 in right field.
Bauers would be making his MLB debut, thus starting his service clock. He is off to a tepid start with the Durham Bulls batting .226/.314/.355 spanning just 35 plate appearances. Last season with the Bulls he hit .263/.368/.422 with 13 homers and 20 stolen bases. He has started 259 games at first base while also starting 57 in left field and 80 in right field.