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AL East Notes: Fairbanks, Rizzo, Blue Jays


In the words of Rays manager Kevin Cash, Pete Fairbanks’ “hip locked up” while the reliever was getting ready to enter today’s game with the Dodgers.  Instead, Fairbanks halted his warm-up and went to the dugout once the inning was over.  Cash told Kristie Ackert of the Tampa Bay Times and other reporters that according to the team trainer, Fairbanks’ “muscles look to be okay, but we saw him walk very gingerly from the bullpen and he was in some pain.”  More will be known after Fairbanks undergoes further examination.

Fairbanks already spent 15 days on the injured list due to forearm inflammation earlier this season, and missed a couple of other games due to his symptoms of Raynaud’s disease, which manifests in the form of finger numbness.  Injuries have been a frequent setback for Fairbanks during his pro career, but he has been a very effective reliever when healthy, as indicated by his 2.84 ERA over 117 1/3 innings since joining the Rays during the 2019 season.  Tampa is 13 games into a stretch of 16 games in 16 games, and while Cash is hopeful that his bullpen can hold up until Thursday’s off-day, the club doesn’t have much room to maneuver if Fairbanks has to miss even a couple of days to recover.

More from around the AL East…

  • Anthony Rizzo left today’s game for what the Yankees deemed as “precautionary reasons” due to a neck injury.  During an unsuccessful attempt by Fernando Tatis Jr. to get back to first base during the sixth inning, Tatis’ hip and upper leg collided with Rizzo’s head, leaving Rizzo shaken up.  He left the game and underwent concussion protocol, though manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including’s Betelhem Ashame) after the game that Rizzo “was fine” and might even be able to return for Monday’s game.
  • While other division rivals have dealt with various injuries, the Blue Jays have been among the healthier teams in baseball, which The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm notes is something of a double-edged sword.  While it’s obviously good news that the Jays have avoided any major injury concerns, the club hasn’t really capitalized on its good fortune, as Toronto’s 28-26 record puts them in last place in the competitive AL East.  Furthermore, it seems unlikely that the Jays will avoid the injury bug for too long, which will put a further strain on the club’s thin bench.  This lack of depth has already been tested over the last few days, with Danny Jansen now on the 10-day IL and Kevin Kiermaier leaving Saturday’s game with back soreness.

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