Marc Topkin has reported that Kevin Kiermaier will be out for at least two months as he suffered a fractured hip after sliding feet first into first base during last night’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Following the game, Kiermaier said he decided to slide as an attempt to avoid a collision with White Sox first baseman, Jose Abreu, who was running to step on the bag.
It’s a crushing blow to the Rays as Kevin Kiermaier had finally start to come around on the offensive side of things over the past month and was still an exceptional center fielder. However, the Rays made sure to be prepared in case Kiermaier had to miss time as the made sure to stock up on outfielder depth during the off-season.
So far over his brief major league career, Kiermaier has already accrued 14.2 fWAR, mostly fueled by his incredible defense. Kiermaier has already won two Gold Gloves during his career. So far in 2017, Kiermaier is hitting .258/.329/.408 with 7 HR over 62 games.
The Rays have called up Mallex Smith to take Kiermaier’s spot on the roster and according to Topkin, Smith will be given the opportunity to be the teams starting center fielder.