It has been over two months since Kevin Kiermaier was placed on the disabled list with a hip fracture he sustained during a slide into first base in June. Since then, fans have been waiting restlessly for the return of the “Outlaw” to center field, and more importantly to the batting order.
The wait is officially over. During an interview this afternoon with MLB Network Radio, Kevin Cash announced Kiermaier’s was ready to play for the Rays again.
Kiermaier was hitting a .258/.329/.408 line when he left in June, and has taken to social media during his hiatus to tell fans he was feeling better, focused on healing, and excited to return.
The Rays, following a series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, will be facing off against fellow wildcard contenders the Seattle Mariners tonight, and the addition of Kiermaier to the lineup, and defensively, could prove to be the injection the Rays need to make a push for the postseason.
In a corresponding move the Rays have optioned OF Mallex Smith to the Triple-A Durham Bulls. This will give Smith an opportunity to get everyday play in before the expanded roster brings him back to the Rays in September.
OF Mallex Smith was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room on the 25-man roster.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 18, 2017