The Rays announced that outfielder Manuel Margot has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to loose bodies in his right elbow. He will have surgery tomorrow with an expected recovery timeline of three to four weeks, though they say more will be known after the procedure has been completed. Infielder Jonathan Aranda has been recalled to take his place on the active roster.
The news is fairly unexpected, as Margot has been playing regularly, including taking five plate appearances just yesterday. But it’s possible that the issue has been dragging him down in recent weeks. At the end of June, he was hitting .260/.318/.378 for a wRC+ of 98, but his line since then is a paltry .213/.238/.279 and a 44 wRC+.
Margot is a glove-first outfielder but has been roughly league average at the plate in recent years. From 2020 to 2022, he hit .264/.320/.375 for a wRC+ of 99. He was right in line with that pace in the first half of the season but fell off steeply in the past six weeks or so, with his season-long line now at .249/.300/.354 for a wRC+ of 85.
Ideally, the procedure will allow him to heal up and get back into form for the final few weeks of the regular season and a potential postseason run. With his bat at that average-ish level, he can be a serviceable player overall thanks to other contributions. He racked up double-digit steals in each season from 2017 to 2021 and has long been an above-average defender, with career tallies of 42 Defensive Runs Saved, 59 Outs Above Average and a grade of 19.9 from Ultimate Zone Rating. DRS has soured on him a bit this year but he still has +4 OAA for the campaign.
With Margot out of action, the Rays figure to use Jose Siri, Josh Lowe, Luke Raley and Randy Arozarena as their regular outfield rotation, with Aranda and Harold Ramírez capable of stepping in at times as well. Their 72-49 record has them three back of the Orioles in the AL East but currently in possession of the top Wild Card spot in the league.