If you’ve hopped off the Tampa Bay Rays’ Bad News Express for any period of time, here’s a quick catch-up: Kevin Cash’s club is 20 games under .500, the team watched the Orioles score five times with two outs in the fifth on Labor Day, Evan Longoria took a stinger off his right hand that (thankfully) somehow revealed no serious damage in x-rays (Cash called this “the best news of the day”), and infielder Matt Duffy is likely out for the season.
For one, newly acquired shortstop Matt Duffy is expected to be shut down this week to have season-ending surgery to address the lingering soreness stemming from his earlier left Achilles injury, the Tampa Bay Times has learned, with the idea he will be ready by spring.
Prior to his trade from the Giants to the Rays, San Francisco had visited Tampa in late June with Duffy holding the longest active consecutive games streak in the majors. This was of course interpreted as an affront to the baseball gods, who saw it fit to strain Duffy’s Achilles tendon as he touched third base at Tropicana Field during that series. An MRI revealed the strain, though Duffy hadn’t felt the tweak was going to be anything that would cause him to miss playing time. The Giants dumped him onto the 15-day DL, but he did not return until August 12.
Then came the deal that sent Duffy to Tampa for good, where the 25-year-old shortstop has slashed .276/.300/.355, but the infamous rigidity of The Trop’s playing field seemed to take its toll: Duffy’s Achilles soreness never completely dissipated and the discomfort led to the decision that he simply be shut down for the remainder of 2016.
Now, Duffy is scheduled to have his heel bone shaved down “to be 100 percent sure that we're ready to go by next season,” he says. In his stead, a combination of Nick Franklin and Brad Miller will play out the stretch at short for the Rays.