ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Tampa Bay placed shortstop Wander Franco on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a right quadriceps strain, the latest setback for the injury-plagued Rays.
Franco aggravated the injury running the bases in the ninth inning of Monday’s 9-5 loss at the Texas Rangers. He was replaced by a pinch-runner after taking a hard turn around first base on a single before stopping and returning gingerly to the bag.
The right quad has been bothering the 21-year-old Franco for a couple of weeks, and he is now sidelined along with second baseman Brandon Lowe (lower back tightness). Lowe has been out since May 16.
”It’s pretty obvious he’s been playing through a lot as of late,” manager Kevin Cash said of Franco. ”It probably makes the most sense to see if we can calm this down, get some treatment, get his legs underneath him and he’ll be better for it.”
Franco, who’s hitting .270, had his first three-hit game since May 9 in the series opener against the Rangers. In the 16 games between, he hit just .107 between those games and hasn’t homered since hitting his fourth on April 26.
”It kind of scares me a little bit to go on the IL,” Franco said through an interpreter. ”I think that’s maybe why I haven’t been playing as well as I have been because I’m scared to go on the IL.”
Besides missing their middle infielders, the Rays are without two key relievers in Pete Fairbanks (right lat strain) and closer Andrew Kittredge (lower back tightness). Starters Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz are recovering from elbow surgery.
The Rays selected reliever Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Durham, making room for the right-hander on the roster by designating left-hander Ben Bowden for assignment.
Armstrong appeared in 11 games for Tampa Bay last season and rejoined the organization on a minor league deal this month after getting released by Miami.
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