Injuries Mounting For Struggling Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are off to a 5-13 start. The absence of Nathan Eovaldi has thrown a wrench into the “bullpen day” pitching alignment. Brad Miller‘s and Matt Duffy‘s injuries have weakened an already thin lineup. Of course, Kevin Kiermaier‘s injury puts a big spotlight on Mallex Smith and his defensive prowess in center field.
It’s not just the big league club that’s getting hit. Injuries are slowing the progress of several top prospects. Brent Honeywell, Jose De Leon, and Garrett Whitley will all miss the 2018 season. Last night, former first round pick Josh Lowe departed the Charlotte Stone Crabs game after an awkward slide into third.
Help appears to be on the way, with Brad Miller apparently set to rejoin the team Friday night against Minnesota.
Miller Time Nearing:
Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on April 8th with a groin strain. The injury was felt leaving the batters box on a single in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox on April 8th. Miller is hitting .222/.300/.370 (6-for-27) with a home run.
After appearing in two games with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Miller is set to rejoin the team on Friday. He appeared in one game at first base (1-for-4) and at second base the second game (1-for-2).
Eovaldi Progresses To Throwing:
Nathan Eovaldi was set to open the season as one of the Rays four starters. Shortly before the season he felt discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow. After examination it was determined that he had “loose bodies” present and surgery would be required.
Eovaldi has started a sock throwing program and is, according to manager Kevin Cash, throwing the ball through the concrete.
Cash is hopeful that Eovaldi could return to the team in late May. “We know with Nate, the way he worked last year through the Tommy John surgery, that he’s going to be an animal and get after it,” Cash told Bill Chastain of MLB.com. “And do everything. I think he’s ahead of schedule. We’re optimistic some time in late May we might be seeing him on a big league mound.”
Duffy DL Stint More Of A Precaution:
Matt Duffy was placed on the 10-day disabled list on April 17th for a hamstring strain. According to Duffy the move is more precautionary.
“Just a mild strain, actually not very serious, thankfully,” Duffy told Greg Auman of the Times. “It is something that is going to take five days to a week, so a DL trip is probably the safest thing. Hopefully we’ll get this thing figured out and be ready to come off when I’m eligible, ideally.”
Through 15 games Duffy was batting .267/.302/.350 (16-for-60) with a HR and 7 driven in.
Arroyo’s Missed Opportunity:
Christian Arroyo may have been the ideal candidate for a callup to the majors to replace Duffy. Unfortunately, he has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a calf strain. He has also got off to a tepid start batting .200/.259/.240 (5-for-25).
60-Day Disabled List:
Kevin Kiermaier finds himself on the 60-day disabled list with a torn thumb ligament that required surgery. The injury will require a 12-13 week recovery time.
More From The Minors
Former first round pick Garrett Whitley had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and will miss the 2018 season.
Former first round pick Josh Lowe slid awkwardly into 3rd base in the Stone Crabs 18-6 win over the Clearwater Threshers. Lowe is off to a sizzling start batting .341/.400/.591 with 2 homers and 10 driven in.
According to #StoneCrabs manager Reinaldo Ruiz, #Rays No. 11 prospect Josh Lowe was removed from tonight’s game with an ankle injury after awkwardly sliding to 3B. Ruiz says it’s a minor injury but expects Lowe to sit tomorrow.
— Bryan Levine (@Bryan_Levine) April 19, 2018