Center fielder Desmond Jennings was day-to-day, but further examinations have shown that he's broken a middle finger. The Rays placed him on the 15-day DL last night, and called up journeyman outfielder Jason Bourgeois.
The back up center fielder in Durham would normally be Brandon Guyer, but he too is recovering from a fractured finger and was not available. The normal recovery time is about three weeks.
So in the mean time, the Rays will likely use a platoon in the outfield. The left handed version will obviously be the defensive prowess of Sam Fuld.
Since joining Tampa Bay in 2011, Fuld has been dazzling with his reckless abandon in the outfield. He's totaled 13 Defensive Runs Saved in a Rays uniform, albeit some negative numbers in center, but a 13.4 UZR/150 in the same position.
Defensive stats can be finicky.
Getting to Know You
Assuming normal platoon use, Bourgeois will be called upon to face southpaws over the next few weeks.
In Durham, Bourgeois has batted .291/,336/,371, leading to a minor league wRC+ below 100; however, Bourgeois is an above average hitter against lefties, with a .335 wOBA and a major league 110 wRC+ against left handed pitchers over 253 plate appearances since 2008. He seldom walks, and he seldom strikes out.
In 880 career innings, Bourgeois owns a DRS score of -3 in the outfield, with -2, -2, and -5 DRS in center field over each of the last three seasons respectively. He's an offensive replacement for some insurance off the bench while Jennings and Guyer rehab, above average in the platoon, and he's capable of playing center.
Limited Time Only
Should Bourgeois struggle in his brief appearances, we may see him swapped out for Guyer when he returns from injury. Guyer is batting .300/.374/.453 over 90 games in Durham, and owns a minor league 130 wRC+.
It's worth noting that Brandon Guyer was actually recalled from Triple-A to the major league roster before he was placed on the Disabled List on August 2nd, two days before Jennings.
Jennings's injury will be backdated to August 4th.
Bourgeois was not the immediate back up plan in Tampa Bay, but his minor league contract will fulfill the exact purpose he was signed for. Joe Maddon will also have the flexibility of using Sean Rodriguez in the outfield, and potentially center, should the need arise.