Just as he pulled out of an extended hitting slump, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday due to a strained quadriceps.
Franco left the Rays’ Monday game at Arlington, Texas, in the ninth inning after rounding first base, pulling up when he felt his right quad tighten. He had been dealing with several quad and hamstring injuries in recent weeks and had missed a couple game to rest.
“There’s some soreness in there, but Wander’s a tough kid. I think he’d be the first to say that he wants to keep playing, he just didn’t know at what capacity or what level he could do that,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “And that’s where I think us as an organization probably needed to step in and prevent him from hurting himself a little more.”
Franco had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances Monday, seemingly ending a slump in which he had six hits and two RBIs in 61 at-bats (.107) across a 16-game stretch. Before that slump, Franco started the season strong, batting .331 with 15 RBIs in 28 games.
“It kind of scares me a little bit to go on the IL,” Franco said. “I think that’s maybe why I haven’t been playing as well as I have been because I’m scared to go on the IL.”
Cash said the team wanted to support its young star.
“We want to get Wander right,” Cash said. “I think it’s pretty obvious, he’s been playing through a lot as of late, hasn’t quite been himself.”
In all, Franco is hitting .270 this season with 48 hits in 45 games. The 21-year-old finished third in Rookie of the Year voting last season.
The Rays selected the contract of veteran right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Durham to replace Franco on the active roster, and they designated lefty Ben Bowden for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Armstrong.
Armstrong signed with the Rays earlier in May after being released from the Miami Marlins. In eight major league seasons, Armstrong has been with five teams, including the Rays for part of last season, and has a 5-2 career record with a 4.83 ERA. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings Tuesday in the Rays’ 3-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.
–Field Level Media