Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier: No one else ‘can do what I can do out there’

A soaring, leaping, HR-robbing catch at the wall Monday, and a brief injury scare, make for another eventful night.
Kevin Kiermaier (right) was off to the side early Monday watching Tampa Bay Rays' Guillermo Heredia (54) greeted by teammate Willy Adames after scoring off a wild pitch during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in San Diego. [GREGORY BULL | Associated Press]
Published Aug. 13
Updated Aug. 13

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Kiermaier showed again Monday that he is willing to race across the outfield, fly through the air and crash into walls to catch a baseball.

And to catch the eye of anyone who has doubted his supreme talent.

MORE RAYS: Players talk about Kevin Cash’s decision to pull Ryan Yarbrough

Kiermaier did Kiermaier things in the eighth inning of Monday’s 10-4 win over the Padres, going a long way from his admittedly self-positioned shallow spot in center to the wall well on the rigftfield side and making a spectacular grab that robbed Francisco Mejia of a home run.

"I always say if you want this elite reputation you’ve got to make elite plays,'' Kiermaier said. "And I think that was an elite play. Still always trying to make a case that I just don’t think anyone else can do what I can do out there.''

Kiermaier won Gold Gloves in 2015-16 but not since, as he was limited to less than 100 games each season due to injuries.

That was a concern Monday as he stayed down for a few minutes after hitting the wall, but waved off the athletic training staff and eventually walked off the field on his own. He likely won’t be in the lineup Tuesday.

MORE RAYS: Tampa Bay stays hot with 10-4 win Monday in San Diego

Kiermaier said he felt “okay” but thought he may have hit his head on the wall and thus may have "a little bit of whiplash.''

He said the catch ranked among his best, though not surpassing his signature home-run robbing catch on Aug. 31, 2015, in Baltimore.

"It’s another notch in the belt,'' he said. "It’s one of my better catches. The degree of difficulty, that was really tough. The play was pretty quick to me to be honest. Very happy to see it go in my glove.''

Kiermaier said the base for making such a play is getting position to make it and them timing the jump to get max height at the wall. "I did everything the perfect way to make that play,'' he said.

"Outstanding, but we’ve seen a lot of them,'' Cash said. “He kind of came out of nowhere and grabbed it. I’m sure he’s a little sore and banged up, but he’s not hurt. He was able to get off the field. Just a highlight reel play that we’ll see over and over tomorrow.”

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The Rays posted this  message of appreciation on their Twitter account. RAYS BASEBALL  |  Twitter
    An ad in the Tampa Bay Times from the team and Twitter messages from players cap the season that included playoffs for the first time since 2013.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays leftfielder Tommy Pham (29) takes a moment in the dugout after the Rays' 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Contract terms for every player currently on Tampa Bay’s roster.
  3. The Yankees' Gleyber Torres hits a home run off Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke during the sixth inning in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. SUE OGROCKI  |  AP
    The 22-year-old homers and has five RBIs, the youngest AL player to drive in that many in a postseason game in major-league history.
  4. Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier (39), right, and shortstop Willy Adames (1) celebrate the Rays 10-3 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Underdogs really do almost “shock the world,” and Kevin Cash deserves serious American League manager of the year consideration.
  5. Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez pitches during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Cardinals on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. MARK HUMPHREY  |  AP
    Starter Anibal Sanchez has a no-hitter through 7 2/3 innings before giving up a clean single to center.
  6. Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow walk back to the dugout after the Astros score four runs in the first inning of Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Manager Kevin Cash says that wasn’t the main problem for the four-run first inning in Game 5 of the ALDS. It was the Astros’ hitters.
  7. The Tampa Bay Rays grounds crew works to remove the ALDS playoff logo along the first base line on the field at Tropicana Field on Friday. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    That’s what the team stresses as it faces an offseason with roster flexibility.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a news conference at Tropicana Field on Friday. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    John Romano: And while they’re at it, find a consistent closer and a bat with some pop.
  9. Houston Astros players celebrate their 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Preparing for Rays steady steam of relievers was a significant challenge for Houston’s hitters.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) reacts after giving up a hit to Houston Astros center fielder George Springer (4) in the first inning in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Journal: Did the Astros know what was coming during their four-run, first-inning explosion?
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement