AL East Notes: Franco, Orioles, Elias, Red Sox

Wander Franco left tonight’s game after his first record appearance because of what rays described as discomfort in the shortstop’s right hand and wrist. Franco was already ruled out of Sunday’s game and will see a doctor on Monday when the Rays return home after a road trip.

The situation does not sound promising as even if Franco has avoided a serious injury another trip to the injury list could beckon if the Rays want to be careful with the young star. The All-Star hiatus could play a role in Tampa Bay’s decision, as Franco’s at least 10-day absence could be partially offset by the league-wide hiatus on the schedule. Franco was already missing four weeks with a quadriceps strain and wasn’t particularly productive in the weeks leading up to that final IL placement as he tried to weather the injury. Since returning from the injured list, Franco has hit in 11 of 13 games, but with just a .634 OPS over 56 plate appearances. [UPDATE: Manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times and other reporters that Franco seems to have suffered a hamate bone injury, which usually requires 4-6 weeks of recovery time.]

More from across the AL East…

  • Today’s victory over the angels prolonged the oriole‘Winning streak to seven games, and Baltimore now has a 42-44 record. After years of rebuilding, the O’s seem a little ahead of schedule as they find themselves on the verge of wildcard hunting. However, GM Mike Elias gave no indication to reporters (including’s Roch Kubatko) that the team would plan to add rather than subtract at the close, saying, “Everything I do or we do has trade-offs, and all I can say is that we’re doing everything from a very global, very thoughtful perspective of what’s right for the health of the Orioles franchise…I think There’s a lot of good things in store for us in the years to come, and I’m delighted that this is being reflected so clearly for our fans at this stage of the game.”
  • Elias also noted that the front office has been more focused on the upcoming amateur draft than trade opportunities, and that the oriole consider five players for the first overall pick.
  • At this point is the Red Sox to plan “cautious buyers‘ at the deadline, a source tells Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. The 45-39 Sox hold the second AL wildcard spot, although a wildcard is probably the best they can do considering how the Yankees are running away with the division. However, Abraham notes that the Red Sox have an extremely difficult schedule for the remainder of July, which could affect their status enough that the Sox could even consider a sale if they fall behind in the postseason race.