BOSTON, MA — After a chilly game on Thursday, one of the coldest in Tampa Bay Rays history, and a snow covered off-day in the city on Friday, the Rays have one illness casualty amidst the bad weather.
Kevin Kiermaier was pulled from the lineup before the clubhouse opened this morning, with veteran center fielder Carlos Gomez penciled in his place, and speedy Mallex Smith moved to right field after he failed to track down a difficult, game winning flyball in front of the claustrophobic Green Monster on Thursday.
Rays manager Kevin Cash described KK’s condition as “Flu like symptoms” before the game, officially the Rays PR described it as “general illness.” Either way, KK is not in uniform, despite attempts to recuperate from his almost-Vaseline game Thursday.
“On the off day, he laid around, and this morning he woke up not great,” Cash relayed as the sun was just starting to shine on the field during batting practice. “It’s probably more precautionary than anything.”
That does not mean Kiermaier will not take the field, though.
“We’re going to keep him away for a little while,” Cash said, “but we might bring him in right before the game starts and have him here available... but we don’t want to do anything to affect the rest of the guys.”
With few clouds in the sky, today’s 1:05 game will feel substantially warmer than the 43 degrees announced, but shade could put a damper on what may be the warmest game the Rays will play over the course of seven days.
All three games in Chicago next week against the White Sox have been rescheduled as afternoon affairs. Maybe KK should have used Vaseline after all.