Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is expected to miss at least two months after breaking his right hip during a slide into first base.
The 2016 Gold Glove winner left the Thursday night’s game against the Chicago White after jamming the hip while trying to beat out an infield hit in the fifth inning.
“It’s just a funky, awkward slide, and I’m paying for it now,” Kiermaier, who is using crutches, said before Friday night’s game against Oakland. “Unfortunately, that’s something I have to live with now. I expect a full recovery. This will probably be my last slide into first base for quite some time.”
Kiermaier underwent a CT scan Friday and was put on the 10-day disabled list.
He’s struggled this season defensively, committing six errors in 62 games. He had two errors in 105 games last season.
Kiermaier signed a $53.5 million, six-year contract in March. He missed 48 games last season with a broken left hand. Tampa Bay went 14-34 while Kiermaier was out.
Tampa Bay recalled outfielder Mallex Smith from triple-A Durham to replace Kiermaier.
The Texas Rangers recalled infielder Jurickson Profar from triple-A Round Rock and optioned LHP Dario Alvarez there before Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals. Profar will start at third base with Adrian Beltre out of the lineup for the second straight game. Beltre suffered an ankle injury Tuesday against the New York Mets. The slugger has played in just seven games this season for Texas. … Masahiro Tanaka’s next scheduled start has been pushed back one day as the New York Yankees attempt to get their struggling ace back on track. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Tanaka will pitch Monday night at the Los Angeles Angels rather than Sunday at home against AL East-rival Baltimore. That gives the right-hander five days. …
The St. Louis Cardinals scratched catcher Yadier Molina from the starting lineup Friday night with lower back spasms. Eric Fryer replaced Molina against the Philadelphia Phillies. Fryer was set to hit in the eighth spot. Molina hit .300, playing in six games, on the recent seven-game trip on which St. Louis did not win a game. He has started 51 of the 58 games this season. For the season, Molina is hitting .258 with six RBIs and one home run. … Tony Watson’s recent struggles have cost the Pittsburgh Pirates reliever his job as the team’s closer. Manager Clint Hurdle said he is “unplugging” Watson from the role following a pair of blown saves in Baltimore earlier this week. Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio will share the closing duties for now.