13:43: Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that Kiermaier is receiving another COVID test today, and already tested negative in the Rays series against the Blue Jays earlier this week. The team’s feeling is that Kiermaier likely has a non-COVID illness.
12:03: The Rays placed the outfielder Kevin Kiermaier on the list of COVID-related injuries. Right handed Joey krehbielThe contract was selected from Triple-A to take Kiermaier’s place on the active roster.
The official announcement of the team says that Kiermaier was sidelined due to “general disease / symptoms», Without mention of a positive test. Of course, league protocols state that positive COVID-19 tests do not need to be publicly announced without the player’s permission. Kiermaier’s placement could simply be preventative in nature while he recovers from a non-COVID illness, so he could be back in the field in just a day or two.
Kiermaier has already visited the regular injured list twice this season, although the two stints (for a quad strain and wrist sprain) ended up being quite close to the 10-day minimum in terms of missed time. The 31-year-old is hitting 0.247 / 0.310 / 0.369 with four homers in addition to 355 home plate appearances this season, and is enjoying what has become a typical Kiermaier year – slightly below-par attack and superb defense. Kiermaier’s midfield glove work has been as stellar as ever, making him a 2.0 fWAR player over 110 games, even taking into account his 89 wRC +.
After pitching three innings in two games with the Diamondbacks in 2018, Krehbiel is now back for another taste of the show. Originally a 12th round pick for the Angels in the 2011 draft, Krehbiel worked almost exclusively as a reliever during his 10 minor league seasons and struggled to reach Triple-A in the system. Arizona farm in 2018-19.
Krehbiel signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay last offseason and released much more intriguing numbers at Triple-A Durham. The right-hander has a 4.19 ERA over 43 innings, plus a strikeout rate of 29.5% and a walk rate of 5.1%, with the improvement in control being particularly noticeable as the steps were a problem for Krehbiel during his previous Triple-A action. Considering how the Rays run through the relief arms, Krehbiel might just be up for another cup of coffee in the majors, or the Rays might give Krehbiel some extra work while saving up more relievers for the playoffs. playoffs.