This is disappointing news for the Rays, although not terribly unexpected. Once news broke that Fuld was getting a second opinion on his wrist injury, it seemed likely that he would need to miss a substantial amount of time. Losing Fuld will give the Rays a weaker bench — especially defensively, as Fuld is one of the best defensive replacements in the game — but the good news is that he’s just a bench player.
It’s unclear exactly how the Rays will replace Fuld, as their bench hasn’t been finalized yet. With Fuld expected to miss a substantial amount of time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brandon Guyer makes the Rays to start the season. He’s a step up from Salazar, and he could still be demoted when B.J. Upton comes back from his injury.
If the Rays don’t want to use Guyer as a bench outfielder this season, though, they may need to look elsewhere for some extra depth. Their in-house options aren’t exactly great, and their bench is thin enough as it is.
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The troubles keep coming for Rays pitcher Matt Bush, who was placed on the team's Restricted List Friday, which takes him off of the team's active and 40-man rosters.
The move comes from Bush being charged with DUI and hit and run after he struck a 72-year-old motorcyclist Anthony Tufano on March 22 while driving a car he borrowed from teammate Brandon Guyer. Tufano is currently in a coma.
Bush, the No. 1 pick of the 2004 MLB Draft, has had numerous troubles with the law during his career including an alleged drunken assault at a San Diego high school in 2009 that was caught on camera, and an assault arrest in 2004 stemming from a fight he had with security at an Arizona bar. He has never played a game in the MLB.
In the aftermath of the collision, Upton has had ongoing issues with his back. Some days it's looser and he can play with it; other days it's tight and he can't do much. His back has not loosened up as much as the Rays had hoped, so they are retroactively placing him on the DL to start the season. Technically, he could return from the DL after only missing a handful of games, but the Rays have stated that there is no timetable for his return. Whenever his back is better, he will play.
In his place, the Rays are expected to promote rookie Brandon Guyer to fill in on the bench and in the outfield. The Rays do have other internal options as well -- including Jeff Salazar and Will Rhymes -- but Guyer offers the Rays the most upside and would be able to immediately help the team during their difficult opening stretch of games.