The Rays have incurred an absurd number of injuries this year, and it has me quite despondent. Last night was meant to be a special evening, with the debut of Ryan Brett at second base, but his night went horribly and ended in a dislocated left shoulder.
Here's a comprehensive list of the sidelined players. Men on a disabled list are marked in bold, players sidelined for any amount of time italicized.
RH Alex Cobb - DL | forearm tendinitis - expected to begin throwing batting practice this weekend
LH Drew Smyly - DL | shoulder tendinitis - may skip final rehab start to join Rays rotation Friday
RH Chris Archer
LH Matt Moore - DL | Tommy John - targeting late June or early July return
RH Jake Odorizzi
RH Alex Colome - DL | pneumonia - significant weight loss, rehabbing with Triple-A Durham
RH Nate Karns
RH Burch Smith - DL | Tommy John - targeting May 2016 return
LH Enny Romero - MiLB DL | back injury - targeting May 2015 return
RH Matt Andriese
As for the depth, that's only four starters not injured in the top ten. The Rays acquired Mariners reliever Erasmo Ramirez for the fifth starter's role, but he's laid an egg in both of his starts thus far.
Should the Rays need to reach for another option in the rotation, invitee veteran Everett Teaford or the escalated development of Dylan Floro could be called upon. Either would be just as depressing.
Drew Smyly looks to return to the Rays on Friday.
CL Jake McGee (L) - DL | elbow bone spur surgery - dealing with sore back from rehab program, early May return
SU Brad Boxberger
SU Kevin Jepsen
MD Ernesto Frieri
MD Grant Balfour - released
MD Steve Geltz
MD Jeff Beliveau (L) - DL | shoulder soreness - after no recovery with rest, seeking second opinion
LM Erasmo Ramirez
MD Kirby Yates - demoted to add proper depth
MD Jose Dominguez
MD C.J. Riefenhauser (L)
MD Brandon Gomes
Kirby Yates is not injured, but was demoted after frequent use and a need to get more blood into the bullpen. Meanwhile, the only left in the pen is CJR, who has seen a dip in velocity and has not been inspiring in his promotion. A move to Everett Teaford, if possible, may be required with Enny Romero on the DL.
As for the rest of the roster, the Rays have incurred several injuries in the last month:
DH John Jaso - DL | left wrist sprain - unable to grip bat, no timetable for return
1B James Loney - DL | oblique - eligible to rehab Wednesday, likely rejoins Rays on weekend
2B Nick Franklin - DL | oblique - injured during batting practice, targeting late April return
SS Asdrubal Cabrera - eye injury - caught artificial dirt in the eye at Toronto, where MLB is investigating the turf
3B Evan Longoria - hit by pitch - drilled in hip by fastball in Toronto in retaliation for two accidental HBP's, left game
LF Desmond Jennings
CF Kevin Kiermaier - illness - intermittent play over last week of play
RF Steven Souza Jr - forearm strain in Spring Training - has not missed any starts
C1 Rene Rivera
C2 Bobby Wilson
INF Logan Forsythe
OF Brandon Guyer
OF David DeJesus
C3 Curt Casali
1B/3B Juan Francisco - opted out of contract
INF Tim Beckham
2B Ryan Brett - partially dislocated left shoulder - incurred on April 21, recovery typically 4-6 days
OF Mikie Mahtook - demoted to add proper depth
1B Allan Dykstra
If at the start of the season, I told you among the starting nine in the batting order that Desmond Jennings and Rene Rivera would be the only players not injured through the first three weeks of play, would you have believed me?
The bench has held up nicely, particularly stepping up most nights in the batting order, but much disappointment is wrapped in how the Rays have needed to rotate their depth.
The third group of players are the major league depth. Mikie Mahtook is not injured among the players listed above, but was sent down so the Rays could add infield depth when Evan Longoria was drilled on a hit-by-pitch in Toronto and needed a day off defensively.
Juan Francisco opted out of his contract prior to opening day, though if he'd stayed, he would have been a mighty presence in the Rays roster through April. His absence has been a great disappointment.
If Ryan Brett needs to be sent to the disabled list, the most likely replacement is Hak Ju Lee, though the Rays could turn to veteran Spring Training invitees Jake Elmore or Alexi Casilla as well, or turn to an optionable bat like Curt Casali or Mahtook. The issue here is playing time, and the Rays may be inclined to stock another player on the bench. Any move of Brett to the DL or minors would require a two week stay.
Baseball isn't fair.
Notes on Last Night
Tampa Bay lost 1-0, and the only run scored when Ryan Brett was unable to turn a double play off a Mookie Betts takeout slide. He stepped back on the throw instead of toward the mound, a decision mixed in circumstance and avoiding injury, but the Betts slide was textbook and Logan Forsythe was unable to glove the throw.
Then in the bottom of the inning, after hustling out an infield single, beating out the throw by Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox were able to pick him off first base and he partially dislocated his shoulder on the drive.
Brett told reporters after the game this was not his first sublexation, the technical term, and that he hopes to be sidelined for less than a week.
If the injury is truly less than a week's turn around, the Rays may be able to wait for health, but that eliminates a spot on the bench.
- Jeff Zimmerman looked at the correlation between velocity and pitcher injuries.
- Juan Francisco signed with a team in Japan for a $1.1M contract.
- Bryan Cranston was at the Trop, in the front row:
SPOILER: Walter White survived, entered Witness Protection as Wade Boggs. pic.twitter.com/fydnVx1li4— MLB (@MLB) April 22, 2015
I am the one who knocks that damned hat off your head, Bryan.