ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 6: Outfielder Desmond Jennings #8 of the Tampa Bay Rays walks in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics May 6, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays scored 4 runs on 2 hits in the inning. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
As if the Rays needed anymore injuries, left fielder Desmond Jennings left Sunday's game with what the team revealed is a left knee sprain. It's the fourth leg injury the Rays have suffered so far this season, though one is more severe than the others: Luke Scott's sore hamstring, Evan Longoria's torn hamstring, B.J. Upton's tight quad and now Jennings' sprained knee. The injuries to Scott and Upton caused them to miss games but not land on the disabled list. With any luck that will be the situation with Jennings.
Without Jennings the Rays are a different team on the basepaths. He has eight steals while the rest of the team has a combined twelve. It doesn't help that Upton missed two weeks and thus hasn't had the opportunities, but the fact remains.
With every tweak, strain, pull or tear it reminds me of just how healthy this team has been over the last several years, especially the pitching staff. Carl Crawford's 2008 season in which he played just 108 games has been the most injury plagued on the offensive side. No pitcher has gone down needing any type of major surgery, either *knocks on all kinds of wood.* It's a testament to the training staff and something the Rays have to be extra careful about given their razor thing margin for error.
- The Week in Worst is one of my favorite features at Baseball Nation. This week's includes Michael Saunders' leaping attempt at a Luke Scott fly ball that ultimately won the game for the Rays.
- Mike Axisa gives us a fun fact sheet about Mariano Rivera. Did you know Aubrey Huff has hit .400/.429/.800(!) off Rivera?
- Bill Chastain gives a nice account of the Rays success under the guiding hand of Joe Maddon.