The injury bug has been destroying the Tampa Bay Rays lineup so far this season as the club just added their tenth player to the disabled list this season. Jeff Keppinger has been placed on the DL after suffering a broken toe. Tampa Bay acquired journeyman Drew Sutton yesterday to help fill the void injuries have created on the team’s roster. Sutton was obtained by the Rays from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later.
In addition to Keppinger, the Rays have lost 3B Evan Longoria, OF Desmond Jennings, RP Kyle Farnsworth and SP Jeff Niemann among others to the disabled list this season.Over the last few days, Longoria and Jennings have reportedly taken batting practice. Jennings is slated to come off the DL on May 27 and Longoria is eyeing a possible return in early June after suffering a partial tear to his hamstring.
Sutton has played only 86 games in the majors during his career with the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. Sutton is a versatile player, able to play all the infield positions and possess a career .258 BA.
The Rays can’t get some of their star players back fast enough. Tampa Bay has now dropped four of their last five contests and they are missing bats in the lineup. Tampa Bay only managed five hits against the Toronto Blue Jays last night and seemingly had the upper hand on Kyle Drabek who struggled. Drabek had three wild pitches and six walks but emerged with a win. Tampa only managed to go 1-6 with RISP and left eight men on base.Tampa squandered another fine effort by SP Jeremy Hellickson who pitched into the seventh inning and allowing just two earned runs.
The changes in the lineup are disturbing the lineup and the Rays are seeing 1B Carlos Pena fall into a slump, currently batting .208 after starting the season off red hot.