Rays' Kevin Kiermaier Exits vs. Athletics with Wrist Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2021

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays bats during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at Charlotte Sports Park on February 26, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Twins defeated the Rays 10-8. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier left Saturday's game against the Oakland Athletics with a sprained wrist, the team announced. X-rays were negative. 

Kiermaier was removed from the game as he held his left wrist after he slid into second base on a steal attempt in the top of the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum.

Injuries have been a persistent theme throughout Kiermaier's career. He made 150-plus appearances just once in his first six seasons upon becoming a regular for Tampa Bay, missing an average of almost 49 games per year.

The 31-year-old was absent for 11 of the Rays' 60 games during the shortened 2020 campaign. He largely struggled at the plate, finishing with a .683 OPS. He continued to be an elite fielder, though, even if he wasn't a Gold Glove finalist at his position.

This season has seen Kiermaier continue to struggle at the plate. He was hitting .217/.289/.290 with no homers and five RBI in 22 games entering Saturday. 

With Kiermaier unavailable, Brett Phillips took over in center field and Manuel Margot moved into right field for the Rays. 

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