Sports Outside the Beltway

Tampa Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura out for the year with a knee injury

This news is a definite blow to the team’s chances to repeat as American League champions.

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left knee.

Iwamura was injured trying to turn a double play in the eighth inning Sunday against the Florida Marlins and was carted off the field.

He will have surgery after the swelling goes down, according to Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

The infielder is in his third season with the Rays after playing in Japan’s Central League. In 44 games, Iwamura was hitting .310 (48-for-155) with no home runs, 16 RBIs and eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

Iwamura is a good offensive second baseman.(Good OB percentage, plus good ability to hit doubles and triples) As a defensive player, he did a good job transitioning to 2nd base from 3rd base. 2nd base is the toughest position other than catcher to play on a baseball team. It is also the one that sees the most injuries. Iwamura is 30 years old, and this injury could have serious career consequences for him.

Tampa will have a tough time replacing Iwamura.

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