Locked in a tight battle for the AL East crown, the Tampa Bay Rays can’t seem to catch a break, especially during the month of August.
First, All-Star pitcher Matt Moore was placed on the 15-day DL with a sore left elbow. Then came the news that starting center fielder Desmond Jennings has a fractured finger, causing him to miss a couple of weeks. And now the Rays could face another challenge, as young pitcher Chris Archer left Wednesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after 1.1 innings with what the team’s calling forearm tightness.
Will Archer’s injury require a stint on the DL?
It’s hard to say at this point. It looks like he was pulled as a precaution, but if that’s not the case, Tampa Bay could find themselves in a whole heap of trouble entering MLB‘s stretch run. Archer is coming off his best month in the big leagues, sporting a 4-0 record, 0.73 ERA and two complete-game shutouts. As a result, he was named both AL Pitcher and Rookie of the Month for the month of July.
Couple Archer’s emergence with David Price‘s return to form, plus Moore’s continued dominance, and the Rays looked to be hitting on all cylinders.
But this injury to Archer, serious or not, could mess everything up. Yes, Moore and Alex Cobb are expected back sometime next week — that’s good news — but the offense is in a major slump, averaging less than four runs in four of their past six games.
Right now, the Rays can just hope Archer will have no lingering effects and continue pitching the way he has been recently. Because if not, they may as well hand the AL East title to the whiny, childish Boston Red Sox.