Monday, August 15, 2022

Rays to place shortstop Wander Franco on injured list with wrist injury

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The Rays lost to the Reds on Saturday in walk-off fashion for the second straight day, but a bigger loss might’ve occurred earlier in the game. Shortstop Wander Franco went down with a wrist injury that could keep him out of the Rays’ lineup for several weeks and might hamper his play once he returns as well. 

In the top of the first inning, Franco fouled off a triple-digit heater from Reds starter Hunter Greene. After the swing, Franco winced a bit and shook his right hand. After he struck out looking, he was immediately removed from the game. The Rays announced Franco had “discomfort in his right hand and wrist.” They immediately said he’d miss Sunday’s game, which wasn’t a good sign, and that he’d be evaluated Monday back in St. Petersburg. 

After the game, the news appeared to get worse. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Franco was going to be placed on the injured list and that the problem was likely a hamate issue. 

If it is a broken hamate — one of the carpal bones in the wrist — Franco is looking at six-to-eight weeks of recovery. Most players returning from such an injury see a drop in power, at least in the short term, as well. 

Franco, 21, debuted last season and finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting despite being so incredibly young and only playing in 70 games. He has MVP-caliber talent and was ranked as the top prospect in all of baseball before his promotion. He’s hitting .260/.308/.396 with 12 doubles, two triples, five homers, 23 RBI, 34 runs, five steals and 1.7 WAR in 56 games this season. He missed about three weeks earlier this season due to a quad strain. 

With Franco down in the short term, the Rays will use Taylor Walls as the regular shortstop. It remains to be seen if Franco is out for an extended period of time and, if so, whether or not the Rays pursue help from outside the organization. 

The Rays had won five of six before getting to Cincinnati but have lost two straight to drop to 45-39 on the season. 

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