Avi hits injured list with right oblique tightness

August 14th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Rays outfielder , who was removed from Tuesday’s 7-5 win over the Padres due to right oblique tightness, was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday. Pitcher Jose De Leon was recalled from Triple-A Durham.

Garcia said he felt “something funny” during his final at-bat in the fifth inning Tuesday. He remained in the game but exited in the seventh when Mike Brosseau pinch-hit for him. Initially, Garcia didn’t think he would end up on the injured list, but he agreed that it was better that the Rays took a precautionary approach.

“It was a little frustrating, but I think it’s a smart move,” Garcia said. “I don’t want to miss a month or the rest of the season. So [I'm] just going to take care of this right now. Just have to listen to [trainer Joe Benge], take care and get better and do whatever I need to do to get back on the field.”

Garcia said he's hoping for a short stay on the injured list and a return to Tampa Bay's lineup in 10 days to two weeks.

“We cannot have Avi go down for a significant amount of time," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I’m optimistic that we got it early enough. We didn’t send him back out there, obviously we pinch-hit for him, he felt a little tweak in there; shut him down, and keep our fingers crossed that it’s close to a minimum stay.”

Garcia, who had a similar injury before the 2018 season, won’t take any swings for the next five days. Then he’ll begin to slowly ramp up his work in the cages.

With Garcia out of the lineup, the Rays will have to rely on Kevin Kiermaier, Tommy Pham, Guillermo Heredia and Austin Meadows to play most of the time in the outfield. Brosseau and Eric Sogard could also be options.

Garcia became the 23rd player on Tampa Bay's Major League roster to land on the injured list, leaving Willy Adames, Charlie Morton and Pham as the only players to have been active for every game this season.

Despite that, the Rays entered Wednesday’s game with a 71-50 record and a three-game lead over the Athletics for the second American League Wild Card spot.

“We have a strong team,” Garcia said. “Everybody is important. It’s not only about me, it’s all about us. We keep working hard. We just have to keep working and do our best every day.”