The Tampa Bay Rays have reached down to Durham and recalled outfielder Shane Peterson as Mallex Smith was placed on the disabled list.
The Tampa Bay Rays sustained their first injury of the regular season when Mallex Smith sustained a hamstring injury in the second inning of Thursday’s game against the Yankees. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Smith felt his right hamstring grab while running the bases in the second inning.
Not taking any chances with a hamstring injury, the Rays put Mallex on the 10-day DL and recalled outfielder Shane Peterson from Triple-A Durham. However, Peterson is not on the 40-man roster and other than two non-outfielders in Curt Casali and Willy Adames that are on the 40-man roster the Rays moved Brad Boxberger to the 60-day DL.
The only other option was to activate Colby Rasmus, however he is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment this weekend and rather than risking any further setbacks to his recovery from offseason hip surgery this was the only option.
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Following the game, Smith was optimistic that his injury would not sideline him very long; however, manager Kevin Cash was more realistic in his assessment.
"“We’ll probably take the night to evaluate how he responds coming into [Friday],” Cash said. “They’re tricky things. Especially when you’re talking about a guy who really relies on his speed.”"
Nicknamed “The Mallex Effect” for his explosive speed, Smith has been a welcome addition to the Rays lineup as he has slashed .273/.360/.318 with three stolen bases in eight games.
In regards to Peterson, he returns to the majors for the first time since 2015 when he was with the Milwaukee Brewers. Signed this offseason to a minor league contract and invited to spring training, Peterson’s slashed .250/.333/.528 with one double, three home runs and eight RBIs in 18 games this spring. Through eight games with the Durham Bulls, Peterson has slashed .250/.273/.581 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
Moving Boxberger to the 60-day DL because of his flexor strain injury means than his return to the Rays will be delayed until June. Even though Boxberger has finally resumed throwing (sock toss) and is working out on a daily basis at Tropicana Field, he will need a rehab assignment before returning. According to Topkin, the move was backdated so Boxberger is eligible to return June 1.
The further delay of Boxberger returning does not make matters any easier for Cash specifically because of the problems that the back-end of bullpen is currently experiencing.