Rays second baseman Daniel Robertson is unlikely to finish out the 2018 season, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain reported Sunday. Robertson was assigned to the 10-day disabled list on Saturday with a left thumb sprain after sliding headfirst into second base during Friday’s 2-3 loss to the White Sox, and it looks like he’ll require surgery — and a six to eight-week healing period — to repair the injury before making it back to the field.
The 24-year-old infielder has put up career-best numbers this season; through Friday, he slashed .262/.382/.415 with nine home runs, a .797 OPs and 2.6 fWAR in 340 plate appearances. This appears to be the first significant setback of his career to date, and there’s little reason to believe he won’t be ready to go by the start of spring training in 2019. Making a comeback this season — especially with the Rays a full 21.5 games back in the AL East — seems highly unlikely, however. As club manager Kevin Cash told reporters, “We probably knew that surgery, or no surgery, he was going to miss most of the [remainder of the] season, if not all of it.”
For now, the Rays still have a couple of viable second basemen in Joey Wendle, who covered for Robertson during Saturday’s 2-1 loss, and recent call-up Brandon Lowe, who tore through Double- and Triple-A but has yet to make his major-league debut this season.