For the most part, the Tampa Bay Rays have been able to avoid any serious injuries during the 2017 season. However, that streak of luck came to an end in a big way. Kevin Kiermaier is generally regarded as the best defensive center fielder in baseball. This season he has taken his game to a new level as he has started to hit for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, he will not be able to continue his progress for the next two months. He will be sidelined because of a right hip fracture.
For his part, Kiermaier has tried to remain as upbeat about his injury as possible given the unfortunate set of circumstances. He has said that injuries are just a part of the game and you have to deal with them when they happen to you. Rays manager Kevin Cash actually seemed more disappointed about the injury than Kiermaier did. Cash said that he feels bad whenever a young player gets an injury that puts him out for an extended period of time. This is because young players who are just coming into their own are at such an important point in their career. A serious injury could have a devastating impact on their ability to play and their earning potential.
The Rays have officially added Kiermaier to the disabled list. They then called up outfielder Mallex Smith to replace him on the roster. Kiermaier is known for his hustle. This has made him a very respected player among his peers. Unfortunately, it was his hustle that led to his injury. He made the mistake of sliding into first base instead of running through it in a game against the Chicago White Sox.
Kiermaier has not had very good luck where injuries are concerned. He broke his left hand last year. That caused him to be out of the lineup for a total of 48 games. The Rays are optimistic he will make a complete recovery.