Report: Kevin Kiermaier to miss two months with a fractured hip

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The Tampa Bay Times reports that¬†Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has a hairline fracture in his right hip and will miss at least two months. The team has not yet confirmed, but it’s pretty rare that the Rays beat from the Times gets that stuff wrong.

Kiermaier injured his hip sliding into first base during the fifth inning of yesterday’s 7-5 win over the White Sox. He was forced to leave the game and was on crutches after the game and had tests scheduled for Friday. You can watch the play here if you’re into that sort of thing.

It’s rarely a good idea to slide into first base, with the only usual exception being a situation in which the fielder is pulled off the bag and tries to get the runner with a swipe tag. In this case Kiermaier was in a foot race to the bag with Jose Abreu. It seems that if he just ran through instead of slid he’d have a better shot, but that’s Friday morning quarterbacking I suppose.

In any event, this is a big blow for the Rays. Kiermaier is hitting .258/.329/.408 and has played in every Rays game to date this season. His calling card, of course, is his defense. He’s had a few odd lapses out in center this year, but he’s still one of the best if not the best defenders in baseball, and his absence will be notable.

Bad break.

 

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.