Will Injury Bug Kill Tampa's Season?
When Matt Joyce fell after hitting a three-run home run Wednesday night at Yankee stadium, I think everyone held their breath a little bit. Fortunately for Tampa he trotted around the bases and played right field the next inning. It appears he will be O.K. from the minor injury, but he just about became another player on the long list of Rays that are hurt. The injury bug has arrived in Tampa Bay and is biting. He is biting the one thing the Rays' have a hard time replacing, their hitting. The Rays have a long list of players on the disabled list. For starters, Kyle Fransworth was on the DL to start the season. He has now recently been moved to the 60 day DL, appearing he'll be out for the start of the summer. The Rays had a number of injures in the month of April. Jose Lobaton was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder soreness. Robinson Chirinos is on the 60-day DL with a concussion. Sam Fuld is on the 60-day DL and is out 5-6 months after right wrist surgery. The biggest injury to hit the Rays was when Evan Longoria tore his hamstring in late April taking him out 4-8 weeks. He is currently on the 15-day DL. He is off that May 16th, and is expected to be re-admitted to the DL for another 15 Days. There have been other injures to the Rays' that affected their performance but have not put them on the DL. Luke Scott has been dealing with hamstring soreness since the beginning of the season. Desmond Jennings recently has been dealing with knee soreness. Of course Matt Joyce this week twisted his ankle. It seems no matter what the Rays are doing, they are getting hurt doing it. The Rays' are known for their depth. However that depth is mostly from starting pitching. Hitters are still the club's weak point, and this could hurt (and is hurting) the Rays deeply.
The big question is how bad will these injures hurt? Can the injury bug take away the Rays chances of the playoffs this season?
Short term the Rays' will have a hard time recovering from these injures. They have had a tough month of May and I think that will challenge the fill-ins. Fernando Rodeney has done a terrific job stepping in for Fransworth. However, players like Will Rhymes, Elliot Johnson, and Chris Gimenez will have a hard time against the big names of the American League.
Long-term however, I believe the Rays' will be fine and this will not hurt their chances of making the playoffs. Unless Longoria's injury is a lot worse than it appears to be and we don't see Kyle Fransworth back this season, it shouldn't affect the Rays' too badly.
I'm not saying the Rays are not going to miss Evan Longoria and others. But in the end, I believe the Rays' will be able to get by this one.
What's you thoughts? leave a comment below or tweet me @ASommers5.