ST. PETERSBURG – Wander Franco was not in the lineup against the Twins on Friday, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said the shortstop is expected to return by this weekend after tests for the syndrome concussion were negative.
“He slept well, woke up and he’s in a much better place right now,” Cash said before the game. “We are going to keep (Franco’s work) fairly light. I expect as long as he keeps improving (he’ll come back to training) within a day or two. ”
Franco, 20, was taken out of Thursday’s game against the Red Sox in the seventh inning after marching against southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez. After missing a complete count change, Franco came out of the batter’s box, grimaced and rubbed his right ear.
“Everything was checked (in the medical evaluation),” Cash said. “We don’t know if this was something that happened the day before or if a headache just popped up. Either way, that was enough to make sense to take it out of the ball game and have some testing. Lucky for him and us, they were negative. ”
Franco reached base in 33 straight games, tied for the third longest streak of all time on base for a player aged 20 or under, behind Mickey Mantle (36, 1951–1952) and Frank Robinson (43 in 1956). It’s the longest active streak in majors, the longest by a rookie in club history and the longest by a rookie shortstop since Hanley Ramirez reached 36 straight games for the Marlins in 2006. .
Overall, Franco is hitting 0.275, with seven home runs and 35 RBIs in 56 games.
Chris Archer makes his third start today after dropping off the injured list. The right-hander is looking to build on an encouraging four-innings Sunday outing in Baltimore, where he allowed two runs and a walk, while striking out six sticks on 59 shots.
“We were all encouraged when he showed it on his last outing,” Cash said. “We want to see if he can get to (be effective) from the first pitch and see how long he can hold it.”
Archer said he would like to go five innings but added, “My goal is to focus on one pitch at a time.”
DH Nelson Cruz has seen his former teammates again. He played against the Twins in Minneapolis from Aug. 13-15.
“It’s always nice to see my old teammates… and now they’re home,” said Cruz, who scored an RBI double in the third round. “You just wanna beat these guys. That’s the point.”
Cruz had an extended pre-game visiting time with his Twins friends, including first baseman Miguel Sano. Cruz was invited to be the godfather of Sano’s daughter, Danea, who was born to Miguel and his wife, Daniela, on August 19. Cruz qualified that “of honor and privilege”.
The Rays have allowed three points or less 71 times to lead the American League. … Southpaw Austin Meadows has at least one RBI in five straight games (he had a six-game streak in 2019). He beats 0.325 (38 for 117) with runners in scoring position, including 9 for his last 16 (0.563) since August 16. … The fourth was right-hander Michael Wacha’s 1000th career round pitched. … First baseman Ji-Man Choi (left hamstring strain) is set to play a doubles program in the Florida Complex League on Saturday. Friday’s game was rainy. … Reliever Nick Anderson (absent since spring training with a sprained right elbow) pitched a perfect 13-pitch inning for AAA Durham on Thursday. Cash said reports indicate more life in Anderson’s fastball. “You’re starting to see the reactions from hitters where it’s hard to catch (Anderson’s fastball),” Cash said. … Matt Wisler (inflammation of the right middle finger) started a session of the bullpen.
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