Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is headed to the 10-day injured list with a left thumb sprain, the team announced Sunday. It’s not clear how long Kiermaier will be sidelined, but it looks like he avoided fractures and serious ligament damage, so he’s not expected to undergo major surgery and could return to the field within the next 10-15 days if all goes well.
Kiermaier sustained the injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the White Sox, jamming his thumb on an abrupt slide into first base. After a quick examination, he was brought out of the game and replaced by pinch-runner Michael Brosseau, who was subsequently left stranded as the next three batters grounded out to end the inning.
Through Saturday’s loss, the former Gold Glove Award winner is batting .248/.294/.425 with 10 home runs, 17 stolen bases (in 20 chances), and a .719 OPS through 338 plate appearances. This will be his first IL stint of the season.
With Kiermaier on the shelf, the Rays recalled outfielder Guillermo Heredia from Triple-A Durham in a corresponding roster move. Heredia should see a fair number of starts in center field over the next two weeks, though he’s left something to be desired at the plate: over his first 58 games of the season, he slashed an underwhelming .227/.306/.333 with 10 extra-base hits and a .639 OPS.