The best reliever in baseball, last year's platinum glove winner, will be going under the knife for two broken bones in his left hand. As a result, Kevin Kiermaier will miss at least two months, possibly up to ten weeks as he recovers.
Kiermaier sustained the injury over the weekend running in on a fly ball dropping into shallow center field.
In his place, Mikie Mahtook has been promoted from Triple-A Durham, and will share an outfield rotation with Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings for center field time.
The Rays previously lost their offensive star and team MVP Logan Forsythe to a hairline fracture in his shoulder blade after a hit by pitch last week. Combine that with the former ace Alex Cobb rehabbing from Tommy John and the former All-Star closer Brad Boxberger still rehabbing from surgery, now is not a great time to be "the best at" something on this Rays club.
Tampa Bay continues to be a .500 team, and now face an even more uphill climb without their best all around player. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, and August 1 is ten weeks from today.
Meanwhile, Mikie Mahtook makes his first start in center field tonight. Last season, across 41 games, Mahtook boasted a .411 wOBA and 168 wRC+, including 9 HR and 4 SB. Whether he can do that with consistency has yet to be seen.