Rays OF Mallex Smith hospitalized due to viral infection

Mallex Smith celebrating during a recent game with Jake Bauers.  {AP}
Mallex Smith celebrating during a recent game with Jake Bauers. {AP}
Published August 24 2018
Updated August 24 2018

OF Mallex Smith has been hospitalized due to a viral infection and placed on the 10-day DL, the Rays said after Friday's game.

Smith was admitted to an area hospital and is receiving antibiotics via IV, the team said, but not expected to stay long. His condition is not considered anything like the life-threatening bacterial infection that led to Cleveland OF Leonys Martin being hospitalized and sidelined for the rest of the season.

"I don't get the sense it's serious,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "The kid's in the hospital, so that's concerning enough. I don't know much other than that.''

Smith has been one of the Rays hottest hitters, so it was a surprise he was not in the lineup for Friday's game against Boston. Cash said Friday afternoon that Smith had woken about 3 a.m. feeling ill but said little else about his condition.

The Rays initially are expected to call up a pitcher to take Smith's place on the active roster to add an extra arm to the bullpen, possibly RHP Andrew Kittredge. If they decide later to call up an outfielder, as they have two days off next week, prospect Austin Meadows, acquired from the Pirates in the Chris Archer trade, would be an option.

Smith, 25, has been playing at the highest level of his career, hitting .307, seventh in the AL, with multiple hits in seven of his last eight games, and hitting .385 since moving to the leadoff spot Aug. 5. He shares the AL lead with nine triples and is fourth with 27 stolen bases.

Smith was looking forward to going back to Atlanta next week and playing against his former teammates.

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