With the 2023 MLB playoffs just right around the corner, suffering injuries to some of the team's key guys is an aspiring World Series contender's worst nightmare. And on Friday night, the Tampa Bay Rays' injury woes just went from bad to worse, putting an even greater damper on their 6-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the top of the fifth inning, manager Kevin Cash had to insert Manny Margot in place of Randy Arozarena after the Rays left fielder suffered tightness to his right quad. The 28-year old slugger is now day-to-day, Cash told reporters, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. At the moment, it remains unclear just how severe the injury Arozarena picked up is and if he'll be needing to miss more time, if any at all.
Meanwhile, the Rays will also find their pitching corps to be a bit thinner after losing reliever Jason Adam to yet another injury not too long after his return from the injured list. Per Topkin, Adam suffered “oblique discomfort” that feels more severe than his previous injury. The team should get more clarity regarding his situation in the coming days as the 32-year old reliever undergoes imaging on his injured oblique.
Randy Arozarena and Jason Adam have each played important roles for the Rays amid their strong 2023 campaign. Arozarena has tallied 23 home runs and 83 runs batted in on the season, while Adam has put up a 2.98 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 54.1 innings of work in relief. Thus, their injuries will make winning the AL East an even more difficult task, given how strong the Baltimore Orioles have looked.
What compounds matters for the Rays is the fact that they also recently lost everyday second baseman Brandon Lowe to a brutal knee injury that would keep him out for 4-6 weeks, most likely keeping him out for the rest of the season even if the team manages to make it all the way to the World Series.
The Rays' organizational depth will be tested in the coming weeks, but there's no point in jumping the shark just yet, as the team will be receiving further updates in the coming days.