Rays expect Kiermaier to miss significant time with thumb injury

The Tampa Bay Rays will be without one of the few remaining stars on their roster, as center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is expected to miss a significant amount of time with the latest injury to his right thumb.

Kiermaier was replaced defensively to begin the second inning after hitting a single and jamming his thumb while advancing to second base on a fielding error. The two-time Gold Glove-winner is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.

While a further diagnosis is still on the horizon, the outlook on Kiermaier appears bleak. Rays manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times "there's a chance he's going to miss a chunk" of the season, and Kiermaier himself also believes he'll be out for a while, according to Bill Chastain of MLB.com.

"I don't want to get too far ahead of it, but he's going to be out," Cash added, ominously.

"It's just another freak accident," Kiermaier added in a media scrum following the game. "I can't believe I'm saying this for a third year in a row now. The hardest part about all this is I feel like I let a lot of people down." He later added that his chance of playing a full campaign is "in jeopardy right now."

Over the past two seasons, Kiermaier has been held to 203 total games, missing over 50 each year. During that span, the 27-year-old has been sidelined due to hip and left hand injuries.

Through 12 games, Kiermaier owned an underwhelming .163/.250/.233 slash line and had yet to hit a home run this season. The Rays currently sit 3-12, 10 games back of the division-leading Boston Red Sox.

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