In the 8th inning of Wednesday night’s game, the scariest moments of the Rays’ season occurred. Will Rhymes was standing in against Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales when a Morales fastball clocked at 95 MPH hit Rhymes in the right arm. It didn’t sound like it hit arm- it sounded like it hit a bat. The trainers came out, but Rhymes remained in the game and went over to first. But then Rhymes quickly motioned towards the Rays dugout that he needed by taken out before taking a step towards the dugout and fainting in the arms of Rays first base coach George Hendricks. Medical staff were escorted on the field to tend to Rhymes. He was down on the field for a few minutes before leaving on a cart. Nobody had any idea what happened. We all assumed the worst. The Rhymes hit-by-pitch and subsequent fainting overshadowed the Rays win on Tuesday night. It was almost as surprising was what happened next.
Here is what the Rays’ official site had to say. Rhymes will likely miss a game or two, but he will be able to avoid a DL stint, something that’s important because the Rays already have 9 players on the DL. Luckily it’s all smiles now after the scary incident.
A story that would have gotten a lot more publicity but did not because of the Rhymes ordeal was outfielder Rich Thompson. Thompson, not to be confused with the pitcher for the Oakland A’s, pinch-ran on Wednesday night for his first big league appearance since 2004. The Rays acquired Thompson in a trade with the Phillies where they gave up Triple-A outfielder Kyle Hudson and immediately brought Thompson up to the major league roster. Thompson, 33, is a 13-season minor league veteran and has accumulated 442 career minor league stolen bases. The Rays presumably traded Hudson, a relatively similar player but younger, for him because Thompson is a better hitter, a more efficient basestealer, and presumably the Rays like his defense. Look for more on Thompson later today at RCG.
The lastest Ray to go on the DL is outfielder Brandon Guyer, whose left shoulder strain necessitated the move to get Thompson. This is Guyer’s second DL stint of the season following an earlier ankle problem, and especially after he homered the other day, it’s unfortunate that he’s injured again. Hopefully Guyer can be back before the end of May.
And finally, the Rays donated “The Ultimate Tampa Bay Rays Experience” to a auction site that will auction it off for charity. The Experience includes 8 seats in the owner’s suite to a game at Tropicana Field (with dinner), field passes to spend batting practice on the field and meet the players, the opportunity to throw the first pitch out in a game, VIP parking passes at the Trop, and VIP passes to a post-game concert. The auction is currently going on here. If you want an incredible Rays experience and have a few thousand dollars lying around that you want to donate to charity, please bid.