The Tampa Bay Rays have placed outfielder, Mallex Smith, on the 10 day disabled list due to a viral infection. Smith has been hospitalized due to the illness. A corresponding move has not been made yet, but Marc Topkin reports that the Rays are expected to call-up a relief pitcher.
Mallex Smith has been among baseball’s best players since the start of July, noted prior to yesterday’s game by JT Morgan.
In 154 plate appearances Mallex Smith has been the second most productive bat by wRC+. He has hit 11 doubles, 5 triples, and 2 homers sporting a ISO over .203. He’s been successful on 12 of 14 stolen base attempts.
Smith’s injury is a major blow to the Rays outfield, which was already dealing with the injury of Tommy Pham, who suffered a dislocated ring finger during Tuesday’s victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Pham is close to returning to the Rays lineup and was available in a pinch if he was needed during yesterday’s game.
“He still feels it. He’s going to feel it for awhile. We just want to get him to the point -- it’s OK to feel it, but we don’t want him changing his bat path or the mechanics of his swing.”
The injuries are coming at a fortunate time for the Rays, as they’ll have the luxury of two off-days next week and then rosters expanded with the onset of September.