Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier will reportedly miss at least two months with his latest injury.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kiermaier has a torn ligament in his right thumb that will keep him out 8-12 weeks. A formal announcement is forthcoming from the team.
Kiermaier, one of the league’s best defensive outfielders, hurt his thumb on Sunday while sliding into second base.
This will be the third consecutive season Kiermaier, an aggressive player by nature, will miss significant amounts of time due to an injury. Last season, for instance, he missed 61 games with a fractured right hip that he also injured on a slide.
Kiermaier is capable of spectacular defensive plays. The Rays will surely miss him.
The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to keep Kevin Kiermaier and Chris Archer despite recently removing familiar names from their roster.
Over the weekend, the Rays made moves that cleared a couple of the team’s higher-paid players from the roster. On Saturday, outfielder Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment following a trade for CJ Cron. The same night, starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi was traded to the Twins. Another domino fell on Tuesday with Steven Souza Jr. being traded to the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team deal.
Given the recent flurry of transactions, it would be understandable to wonder who will be on their way out of Tampa Bay next, with big players like Kiermaier and Archer being top targets. According to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times, both players are expected to remain with the Rays.
The Yankees and Red Sox have clearly separated themselves as the class of the American League East. That leaves the Rays apparently opting to rebuild and collect assets. Souza sympathizes with fans and encouraged them to be patient and have faith in the front office during what will likely be a difficult period.
The Rays finished last season third place in the AL East at 80-82. Given the recent transactions, it would be tough to forecast the Rays finishing in a similar position in 2018. That will be tough for Kiermaier to swallow, as he’s already grumbled about the team’s recent moves.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ recent moves have not gone down well with a key member of the team.
Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier made no secret of his displeasure on Monday, admitting that he didn’t get what the Rays were doing after trading pitcher Jake Odorizzi and designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
“I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush,” Kiermaier said, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don’t know the reasoning why. And then you see the team’s explanation and still it’s just like, okay, well, so be it.”
Kiermaier is something of a team leader, and he admitted that he and his fellow players have no choice but to put their heads down and get to work.
“With that being said it’s my responsibility, and now the team’s responsibility, to move on,” Kiermaier said. “It’s over with. It’s done. Got to move on from it. We can not sit here and dwell on it. We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. Chatter amongst each other. But it’s over with, it happened. We still have a really good team in here, got a lot of good guys. I believe in these guys.
“We lost two great players. It’s terrible. At the same time, life goes on. We still have to do what we have to do to go out there and get as many wins as possible.”
Odorizzi was a quality starter, but designating Dickerson for assignment after he was an All-Star last year was particularly surprising as the Rays looked to cut payroll. Kiermaier’s comments aren’t all that different from those made by a former Rays player who watched these events from afar.
Getting randomly drug tested is becoming such a regular event for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier lately that he’s starting to see the humor in it.
Kiermaier tweeted on Thursday that he had been selected for his fifth random test of the offseason and cracked this funny joke about it:
The slew of random tests comes after a 2017 campaign where Kiermaier hit .276 with 15 home runs (both career-highs), 39 RBIs, and his usual excellent defense in center field. Somewhat remarkably, he is not the only Tampa Bay player to poke fun at being drug tested this winter.
The Tampa Bay Rays have liked what they’ve gotten out of Kevin Kiermaier the past few seasons, so they’re trying to lock him up.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Kiermaier and the Rays are close to reaching agreement on a $50 million contract extension for the centerfielder that would be for six years.
Kiermaier was already under team control with Tampa Bay through 2020, so this extension will add on to that and help buy out a few of his free agent years.
Kiermaier has been a defensive standout in Tampa, regularly making highlight catches in center that left his teammates in awe. On top of that, he’s brought some steady production at the plate, clubbing 32 home runs in three seasons to go along with around seven triples and 20 doubles per season on average.
Kiermaier is such a plus on defense that he really just needs to be average at the plate in order to provide solid value for the Rays. Tampa Bay is banking on Kiermaier remaining an elite defensive center fielder through the age of 32.
A deal like this helps give Tampa Bay a player to build around, and that should make cornerstone Evan Longoria happy.
Chris Archer had a great reaction to a beautiful catch made by Kevin Kiermaier in center field on Monday night.
Kiermaier robbed Orioles leadoff hitter Manny Machado with a great catch against the wall for the first out the Rays recorded in the game.
Archer was worried that the first batter he faced had hit a home run against him, so he kept the celebration low-key when Kiermaier came down with the grab.
Yep, that’s the same face we had when we saw Kanye come up on stage at the VMAs.
Image via @TheOutsideCorner
Who is the slowest player in the major leagues? You don’t even have to think twice. You don’t have to look it up. You just know: it’s Jose Molina.
And Molina showed us all on Wednesday that the title is well-deserved.
Molina was on first in the top of the fourth inning of Tampa Bay’s 7-3 win over Oakland when Kevin Kiermaier hit a 2-run home run to right. The ball barely cleared the high wall, so Kiermaier was booking it around first just in case the ball stayed in the park. Not Molina, though, who knew it was gone and took his sweet ass time yogging (soft J) around the bases.
You could see the big smile Kiermaier had on his face as he was approaching home plate, and I don’t think that was because of his joy over the homer. He was trying to keep from laughing.
Pick it up a little, Jose. You’re killing your teammates’ flow.
Forearm bash to Deadspin