Rays’ Yandy Diaz sidelined by groin issue, headed for MRI

·4 min read

NEW YORK — The Rays have another injury to a prominent player to be concerned about.

Infielder Yandy Diaz, one of their top hitters, left Sunday’s game in the first inning due to left groin tightness and is headed for an MRI on Monday.

Diaz said there had been some tightness over the last few days, and it worsened Sunday. He doubled to lead off the game, then broke to third on a slow grounder and slipped when he stepped on the base.

“I’m feeling it a little bit in the groin, it’s still bothering me a little bit,” he said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “There’s a little bit of pain in there. … I felt a little pull when I slipped on top of the base.”

Diaz said he didn’t have any sense yet if he would be good to play Tuesday; he might need a couple days off or could be headed to the 10-day injured list.

“That’ll just depend on the trainers and the doctors,” he said.

Diaz is hitting .321 with a team co-leading 10 homers, 24 RBIs, .429 on-base percentage (third in the majors) and 1.022 OPS (second in MLB).

Reliever Pete Fairbanks set to return

Having gotten through a 23-pitch rehab assignment Friday for Durham, and some issues with the Triple-A umpiring crew, high-leverage reliever Pete Fairbanks said he is over the forearm inflammation that sidelined him in late April and is set to return to action Tuesday.

“I feel good, I thought the stuff was really good, and my computer validation backed up that the stuff was good,” Fairbanks said. “I feel healthy. I feel ready to go. And I’m glad I kept my emotions in check.”

Fairbanks said he felt bad seeing the bullpen struggle at times in his absence.

“I think I might have put some things in flux by having to deal with this, and I’m hopefully glad to be able to get back and take some things out of flux,” he said.

Reliever Chris Muller, who was called up Friday but didn’t get to make his debut, seems likely to be sent down to make room on the roster.

Take that, WFAN

Rays starter Zach Eflin had a little fun with Taylor Walls delivering the big hit in Sunday’s 8-7 victory over the Yankees.

Eflin referenced the New York WFAN sports radio hosts who last week suggested the Rays must be cheating, especially at home, to have won so much; they questioned the performance of “a bunch of journeyman” players and mocked Walls (among a few others) as unlikely stars, saying “Taylor Walls? What?”

Asked if he was now a big Walls fan, Eflin said: “Absolutely. You kidding me? Who’s not?” then added: “Who’s Taylor Walls?” and “It was on the road so we’ll see what they have to say about that.”


Right-handed reliever Zack Littell, claimed on waivers Friday from Boston, was activated, saying he feels a lack of consistency is all that has kept him from being more effective the past few seasons. … Javy Guerra, reacquired in a trade last month from Milwaukee, was designated for assignment. The Rays will seek to keep Guerra with Durham if he isn’t claimed. … Monday is the Rays’ only day off this month, between stretches of playing 13 and 16 consecutive days. One benefit is that they’re staying in the same hotel in New York for the series against the Mets, which starts Tuesday. … If you’re in midtown Manhattan on Monday, you may see Yonny Chirinos throwing a ball with bullpen catcher Charlie Valerio in a grassy plaza area he spotted near the team hotel. Chirinos is pitching Tuesday, either starting or behind an opener, and likes to play catch the day before. … Isaac Paredes came off the bench to replace Diaz in the bottom of the first inning and had a painful Sunday, hit twice on the left elbow by pitches. … Rays players and staff used a variety of pink equipment and gear in honor of Mother’s Day, most notably catcher Christian Bethancourt’s chest protector and shin guards. … The Rays have hit four grand slams in their first 42 games; they had one all of last season.

• • •

Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.