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.