Rays face stretch without Kiermaier

by Gary Shelton on June 9, 2017 · 1 comment

in general

The Rays face the next two months without Kiermaier./CARMEN MANDATO

The Rays face the next two months without Kiermaier./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 3 p.m.

Once again, the Tampa Bay Rays face life without Kevin Kiermaier.

Kiermaier, the team's gold-glove outfielder and one of the team's most popular players, will miss at least two months with a hairline fracture in his hip he suffered Thursday night while sliding into first base.

A year ago, Kiermaier missed 48 games with broken bones in his hand, and the team went 14-34 without him.

This year, the Rays have called up Mallex Smith, who is expected to be the primary centerfielder. Peter Boujos will also see time.

Kiermaier was hitting .258 for the Rays, and although he had six errors, he was still a key part of the Rays' defense. Kiermaier's six errors have come over his last 40 games, matching his total from his previous 235 games.

"We have options," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Even Steven Souza can go play center field and fill in nicely. We still feel strongly about our outfield defense -- but saying that, we know we're not going to replace Kevin Kiermaier."

 Tests showed Kiermaier had a hairline fracture./CARMEN MANDATO

Tests showed Kiermaier had a hairline fracture./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry Beller June 10, 2017 at 5:35 am

I think the Rays are much better prepared to handle life without Kiermaier than they were last year. For one thing you could argue Keirmaier hasn’t really been himself this year in the field so the drop off won’t be as dramatic. Last year they had no good backups in center but they rectified that by adding Smith, Rasmus and Bourjos who all have experience at that position. Those are major upgrades from a year ago. Still it’s a big loss especially with the way Keirmaier was hitting lately.

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