Rays' Wander Franco Out 5-8 Weeks After Surgery on Wrist Injury

Doric SamJuly 11, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 29: Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco (5) throws the ball across the infield during the MLB regular season game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on May 29, 2022, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays will be without shortstop Wander Franco for the next five to eight weeks because of wrist surgery.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noted that the surgery will repair Franco's hamate bone, which was injured in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds when he fouled off a pitch in the first inning.

The Rays had placed Franco on the injured list Sunday along with outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is dealing with inflammation in his left hip. This will be his second prolonged absence this season after a strained right quad sidelined him for most of June.

In 58 games this season, Franco has struggled to find a groove. He's slashing .260/.308/.396 with five home runs and 23 RBI, a drop from when he hit .288/.347/.810 with seven homers and 39 RBI as a rookie in 2021. Franco finished third in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year.

In November, Tampa Bay rewarded Franco with a massive contract extension worth $182 million over 11 years with a club option for the 2033 season. The deal could reach as high as $223 million if the option is exercised and all incentives are reached.

While Franco is out, Taylor Walls is likely to see some significant time at shortstop. The 26-year-old has played most of the season at second base, and he's been used more for his defense than for his bat. Walls is hitting .164/.245/.509 with just three home runs and 13 RBI.

The Rays begin a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.