SUNDAY: The Rays have officially placed Kiermaier on the 15-day disabled list and called up Mahtook, per a team announcement.
SATURDAY, 7:37pm: The Rays will indeed promote Mahtook to take Kiermaier’s place, tweets Topkin.
5:34pm: Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier suffered two fractures in the metacarpal bones in his left hand Saturday, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Kiermaier will see a specialist Monday regarding the injury, which occurred on a fifth-inning diving attempt in Detroit and caused him to leave the game. It won’t be known how much time Kiermaier will miss until he’s checked out, but it’s fair to expect a several-week absence for the 26-year-old.
The loss of Kiermaier, among the elite defenders in baseball, will be a significant one for the Rays. Since bursting on the scene in 2014, Kiermaier has quietly established himself as one of the league’s top all-around players. In addition to his defensive prowess, the lefty-swinging Kiermaier has acquitted himself well offensively, having hit .260/.306/.435 with 25 home runs in 1,034 plate appearances over the past two-plus seasons. His base-running ability has further buoyed his value during that time, as he has racked up 29 stolen bases. Six of those steals have come this year for Kiermaier, who has provided an above-average offensive line of .236/.307/.447 in 137 trips to the plate.
In Kiermaier’s absence, the Rays are primed to call up Mikie Mahtook, according to Topkin (Twitter link). After putting up excellent numbers in his major league debut last season (.295/.351/.619 with nine homers in 115 PAs), Mahtook has continued thriving at the Triple-A level this year. In 87 PAs, the 26-year-old has batted .316/.402/.474.