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

Wander Franco left today’s game after his first plate appearance, due to what the Rays described as discomfort in the shortstop’s right hand and wrist.  Franco has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game, and he is set to visit a doctor on Monday when the Rays return home after a road trip.

The situation doesn’t sound promising, as even if Franco has avoided a serious injury, another trip to the injured list could be beckoning if the Rays want to be cautious with the young star.  The All-Star break could play a role in Tampa Bay’s decision, as Franco’s 10-day minimum absence could be partially absorbed by the league-wide break in the schedule.  Franco already missed four weeks due to a quad strain, and wasn’t particularly productive in the weeks leading up to that last IL placement as he was trying to play through the injury.  Since returning from the injured list, Franco has registered a hit in 11 of 13 games, but with only a .634 OPS over 56 plate appearances.

More from around the AL East…

  • Today’s victory over the Angels extended the Orioles’ winning streak to seven games, and Baltimore now has a 42-44 record.  After years of rebuilding, the O’s may seem a little ahead of schedule, as they find themselves on the outskirts of the wild card hunt.  However, GM Mike Elias didn’t give reporters (including’s Roch Kubatko) any hint that the team would be planning to add rather than subtract at the trade deadline, just saying that “everything that I do or that we do has tradeoffs, and all I can say is, we do everything from a very global, a very thoughtful perspective about what is the right thing to do for the health of the Orioles’ franchise….I think that we’re in store for a lot of good stuff in the next few years, and I’m very happy that it’s kind of reflected right now during this stretch of play so plainly for our fans.”
  • Elias also noted that the front office has been more focused on the upcoming amateur draft than on trade possibilities, and that the Orioles are considering five players for the first overall pick.
  • At this point, the Red Sox are planning to be “cautious buyers” at the deadline, a source tells Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe.  The 45-39 Sox hold the second AL wild card spot, though a wild card is likely the best they’ll be able to do, given how the Yankees are running away with the division.  However, Abraham notes that the Red Sox have an extremely difficult schedule for the rest of July, which could impact their status to the point that the Sox might even consider selling if they fall behind in the postseason race.

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