TAMPA — Yandy Diaz has been one of the Rays’ best hitters in his first year with the team, but keeping him on the field has been a challenge.
Now the Rays will be without him for most of their 10-game, 11-day road trip after the team placed him on the injured list with right hamstring discomfort before Wednesday’s series finale at Yankee Stadium.
Diaz missed the Rays first two games against in New York and hasn't played since exiting Sunday's game in the ninth inning.
The move was retroactive to Monday, and Rays manager Kevin Cash is hopeful Diaz will be able to return when he’s eligible on the road trip’s final game in Minnesota next Thursday.
“We certainly hope it’s not something that lingers because obviously we’ve seen what Yandy has done for our offense," Cash said. "He’s been hot for us, getting big hits and we need to get him back out there as quick as possible. I know he’ll work to get the treatment in and hopefully I think there’s a chance that he joins us back on the last day of the trip. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for that.”
Diaz was hitting .361 with a .935 OPS in 15 games this month. He has logged six multi-hit games over that stretch and is 10-for-20 over his last five games.
This is the second time that Diaz has landed on the injured list in the past month. He missed nearly two weeks with a left hand bruise after he was hit by a pitch on the Rays' last trip to Yankee Stadium. Diaz also missed a game with an ankle injury in the early April.
Cash said that injuries haven’t allowed him to give players like Diaz, who is in his first season as a big-league full-time player, the rest he’d like to give them.
"But hopefully when Yandy gets back, we’re going to get a little bit healthier and we’ll have everybody back in line," Cash said. "And we can get some extra days off for some guys where some of these hamstrings, obliques and all those things don’t pop up.”
The Rays recalled infielder Daniel Robertson to fill Diaz’s 25-man roster spot. Robertson started at third base and batted ninth in Wednesday’s game.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.