Sports Outside the Beltway

Tampa Bay 1B Carlos Pena out for the season with two broken fingers

Is there anyone outside of Florida who thinks the Rays will still make the playoffs this year? From AP-

Tampa Bay slugger Carlos Pena broke two fingers when he was hit by a CC Sabathia pitch in the opener of Monday’s day-night doubleheader against the Yankees.

Pena was hurt on an 0-1 offering in the first inning of a 4-1 loss, with the ball hitting his left hand and then his bat.

“I knew when the ball hit me it was going to be bad,” he said. “You don’t take a 95 mph fastball on the finger and live to tell about it — or the finger live to tell about it.”

Pena broke the middle and index fingers. He will return to Florida on Tuesday and meet with the Rays medical staff before a determination is made whether he needs surgery.

Pena leads the AL with 39 homers and finished with 100 RBIs.

Those are some awfully big shoes to fill. So who took Pena’s roster spot?

Tampa Bay put Pena on the 60-day disabled list and purchased the contract of first baseman Chris Richard from Triple-A Durham. Richard was in Durham, N.C., and immediately headed to New York.

He arrived just before the night game began and pinch hit in the eighth inning of the Rays’ 11-1 loss. He walked in his first big league appearance since April 30, 2003, for Colorado against Cincinnati.

A guy who hasn’t played ML baseball in over 6 years. Wait till next year should be the rallying cry for Tampa.

Update- I noted the thinness of the Rays bench a month ago. It has come back to haunt manager Joe Madden

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