Kiermaier, who conceded Tuesday he was worried about being traded this offseason, is healthy after dealing with a hand injury last postseason, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Kiermaier is due to make $11.5 million in 2021 and plays on a team with plenty of outfield depth and a front office always willing to make a trade, so his fears heading into the offseason were reasonable. However, Kiermaier was assured by general manager Erik Neander he'd return for 2021 to help the Rays defend their AL crown, a pledge that began to be fulfilled with the start of workouts for the team's position players Tuesday. The veteran outfielder said he rested longer than usual this past offseason after playing deep into October, and he noted the alterations to his stance and overall mechanics at the plate that his left hand injury forced him to implement during the World Series led to offensive progress that he'll look to carry over into the new season.
Kiermaier went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and a pair of runs batted in Tuesday in a loss to the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series. Kiermaier hit a solo homer in the fifth inning off Clayton Kershaw, and with that, the longest-tenured Rays player hit his first home run off a lefty all season. The solo shot was the only damage that the Rays were able to inflict on Clayton Kershaw, who otherwise dominated their offense. The veteran managed to knock in teammate Joey Wendle in the seventh inning and was the only spark plug in a Rays offense that struggled in the opener.
Kiermaier stated Monday that his wrist is feeling better and that he's "good to go" for Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers on Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Kiermaier dealt with a wrist injury that kept him out of three games during the ALCS, but he returned to the starting lineup for Game 7 and is feeling healthy heading into Tuesday's contest following two days off. Kiermaier is 7-for-36 with five extra-base hits and four RBI so far this postseason (12 games).
Kiermaier (hand) will bat ninth as the center fielder in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. Kiermaier sat for three straight games after getting hit in the hand by a pitch in Game 3. He's ready to go now for what could potentially be the Rays' final game of the season.
Kiermaier (hand) is out of the lineup for Game 6 of the ALCS against the Astros on Friday, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports. The 30-year-old finds himself on the bench for the third straight contest after getting hit by a pitch on the hand during Game 3. Kiermaier appeared off the bench as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in Game 5 but has yet to register a plate appearance since the injury.