Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left Sunday’s game with a right thumb sprain after sliding head first into second base. At the time the extent of the injury was unknown and he was considered day-to-day. Not anymore: he’s gotta go under the knife.
Turns out that Kiermaier tore a ligament in his right thumb and the necessary operation is going to put him on the shelf for 8-12 weeks. Some combination of Johnny Field, Carlos Gomez, and Mallex Smith will cover center field between now and July, in all likelihood. All obviously represent defensive falloffs from Kiermaier, but then again most center fielders are.
Kiermaier wasn’t hitting well in the early going of the season, but he’s a career .260/.317/.426 hitter (106 OPS+). He’ll be missed by the Rays.
The Diamondbacks selected the contract of pitcher Clay Buchholz from Triple-A Reno ahead of Sunday’s game against the Mets. It marked Buchholz’s first major league start since April 11 last season (also against the Mets) when he was a member of the Phillies. Shortly after that start, he was diagnosed with a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass and he ended up not being able to pitch the rest of the season.
Buchholz signed a minor league deal with the Royals but he opted out of his contract at the beginning of this month. The Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league deal a few days later, needing depth with a depleted starting rotation. Buchholz made two starts for Reno before getting the call Sunday.
Buchholz, 33, pitched well on Sunday against the Mets, lasting five innings and limiting the opposition to a run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. His only blemish was allowing a solo home run to Amed Rosario leading off the sixth. He was immediately relieved by T.J. McFarland afterwards.
It is not yet clear if Buchholz will get another turn through the D-Backs’ rotation.