John Romano’s takeaways from the Rays 2-1 loss to the White Sox Saturday

Combine another late collapse with an ominous injury, and these are not happy days in Tampa Bay.
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) walks off the field after spraining his left thumb while sliding into first base Saturday night. Kiermaier will have an MRI on Sunday.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) walks off the field after spraining his left thumb while sliding into first base Saturday night. Kiermaier will have an MRI on Sunday.
Published July 20

You cannot criticize a player for hustling. You cannot criticize a player for hustling. You cannot … aw, what the heck. Kevin Kiermaier’s career has been interrupted year after year because of injuries. And yet the Rays centerfielder continues to recklessly throw his body around. It’s admirable, but it’s also important for a player to understand risk vs. reward.

The forgotten man in Saturday’s game was Rays reliever Diego Castillo who pitched a scoreless seventh. Since coming off the Injured List, Castillo has not given up a run in 4.1 innings. More importantly, he’s not walked a batter after 20 walks/hit-batsmen in the previous 34 innings. If the Rays want to stay in contention, they need more of that from Castillo.

Opponents are only hitting .188 against Emilio Pagan in his last 18 appearances since June 11, which is a good indication of his raw stuff. The problem is more than half the hits he’s allowed have left the park. Pagan has given up six home runs in his last 17.1 innings. He’s got five blown saves in his last seven opportunities.

John Romano can be reached at jromano@tampabay.com. Follow @romano_tbtimes.

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