Rays’ Wander Franco to miss up to eight weeks due to hand surgery

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Rays’ shortstop Wander Franco, who was positioned on the IL Sunday resulting from an harm to his hamate bone, will bear surgical procedure to restore it. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times relayed the information, noting that Franco will likely be out five-to-eight weeks.

Lengthy thought of one of many high prospects within the sport, Franco debuted final yr and delivered on the hype with a wonderful rookie marketing campaign. Simply 20 years outdated on the time, he acquired into 70 video games, placing out in simply 12% of his plate appearances and hitting .288/.347/.463 for a wRC+ of 127. On the heels of that marketing campaign, the Rays signed him to an 11-year, $182M extension to maintain him round because the face of the franchise for the subsequent decade-plus.

Sadly, the primary season of that extension hasn’t gone based on plan, with Franco being beset by accidents on a number of events. He first landed on the IL in Could resulting from a quad pressure, earlier than this hamate harm surfaced. He’s managed to get into 58 video games on the season, however appears to have been dragged down by these illnesses. His batting line this yr is .260/.308/.396, nonetheless above common with a 104 wRC+, however certainly a disappointment for a younger participant hoping to see year-over-year progress. With a five-to-eight week absence arising, it appears he gained’t be again till mid-August on the earliest, however probably not returning till September.

The grim information for the Rays doesn’t finish there, as Topkin relays an replace on middle fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who additionally went on the IL Sunday alongside Kiermaier. Supervisor Kevin Cash says that Kiermaier will see a hip specialist after the All-Star break and goes to be “down for a while.” The defensive wiz was having one other considered one of his customary seasons, offering high quality glovework whereas hitting simply shy of league common. Whereas the size of his absence isn’t precisely clear, it looks as if will probably be important. This leaves the membership doubly handicapped within the outfield, particularly in middle, as Manuel Margot can also be on the IL, with a patellar tendon pressure conserving him out of motion for an honest chunk of time as nicely.

With Franco out of motion prior to now couple of days, the membership has turned to Taylor Walls at shortstop. By 73 video games this yr, he’s hitting simply .164/.245/.264 for a wRC+ of 52. Heart discipline has been manned by Brett Phillips, who’s hitting .146/.218/.247 for a 39 wRC+ on the marketing campaign. With each Franco and Kiermaier out of motion for important time, these two areas stand out as clear areas of want because the Aug. 2 commerce deadline approaches. The Rays are presently 45-40, nicely again of the Yankees within the AL East however nonetheless in possession of a postseason spot in a good Wild Card race.

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