ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay Rays OF David DeJesus crashes into the short wall in left field Tuesday night and walks away without a bruise. He swings the bat at a pitch high and away Wednesday and heads to the 15-day disabled list with an avulsion fracture in his left hand that will sideline him for at least a month.
OF Brandon Guyer (left thumb fracture) was activated from the DL to take DeJesus’ spot on the roster.
“I can run full steam into the wall and not get hurt and then something I do every day, you take for granted.” DeJesus said. “All the force that I bring to the table.”
The fracture was the result of the tendon between his ring and middle fingers being pulled away from the bone. DeJesus will have the hand in a splint for three weeks. He will then be examined and a rehab plan will be formulated.
DeJesus suffered the injury during his seventh-inning at-bat against Orioles RHP Tommy Hunter.
“It’s crazy. Just a random swing,” DeJesus said. “My last at-bat, last swing, it was up and away, I tried to come around it, missed, I was walking back to the dugout with my head down in pain. I know the difference between something hurts and pain; I was like, this is pain.”
DeJesus wasn’t able to throw the ball when he returned to the outfield and was removed from the game in the ninth inning. He went to the trainer’s room knowing something was wrong.
“But I wasn’t expecting this avulsion fracture,” he said. “That sounds terrible.”
DeJesus had reached base in his last 15 starts and was batting .288 in those games.
DeJesus is the fourth member of the Rays to head to the DL with a hand/wrist injury, joining 2B Ben Zobrist (dislocated left thumb), RF Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) and Guyer.
“It definitely bites a little bit in a sense, but we got Guyer back, and now we’ll see if Brandon’s able to pick that up a little,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He had a nice rehab stint. He was playing well before he left, so we’ll see how that works out.”
Guyer was hitting .385 in his nine games before the injury. He hit .400 in five games during his rehab stint at Triple-A Durham.
Maddon said Guyer will get more playing time now that Myers and DeJesus are both on the DL.
“With DeJesus out right now, there’s different things we can do,” Maddon said. “He’s a guy who can hit righties and lefties, so it’s no big deal having him up against both guys.”
So who’s the DH?
DeJesus served as the Rays’ primary DH this season, making 37 starts there. The next-highest is 11 by INF Logan Forsythe. OF Matt Joyce made his 10th start as the DH on Thursday.
With Guyer set to get more playing time and OF Kevin Kiermaier now in the picture, it’s possible Joyce could see more time as the DH.
“He could,” Maddon said. “I haven’t put a lot of thought into it yet.”
Maddon said he will still use the DH spot to get players off their feet during home games, which he has done this homestand with 1B James Loney and 3B Evan Longoria.
Streak ends for Cursi
Bullpen catcher Scott Cursi’s streak of 2,326 consecutive games in uniform ended Wednesday because of jury duty.
Cursi was originally scheduled to serve in March, but that was in the middle of spring training. He rescheduled it for this week because the Rays are home and originally scheduled to play all night games. But Wednesday’s game was changed to an afternoon game.
“I know it tore him up,” Maddon said. “He was going after (Cal Ripken Jr.’s) streak right there.”
Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games. Cursi’s streak dated to the 1999 season, when he joined the team.
The Rays and Astros will “Turn Back the Clock” on Saturday afternoon. The Astros will wear the rainbow uniforms from the 1970s and the Rays will wear their Turn Back the Clock jerseys. ... Seminole medicine man Bobby Henry was at the Trop on Sunday to complete the work he started the previous Monday. Maddon said Henry concentrated on one area of concern that Maddon did not want to reveal. “We’ve addressed it, and we’ll see how it played out. Just give it some time,” Maddon said. ... Durham manager Charlie Montoyo will manage the International League team during the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 14 in Durham.