The Tampa Bay Rays' star shortstop Wander Franco has suffered a setback in his recovery from surgery on his right wrist. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Franco has been pulled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham because of the soreness he feels in his right hand when he swings a bat. Instead, Franco will return to St. Petersburg, where he'll continue receiving treatment on the surgically repaired wrist.
Franco, 21, hasn't played for the Rays since July 9, and soon after that date he underwent a procedure to correct an injured hamate bone in his right wrist/hand. Franco was six days into his minor-league rehab stint when the decision was made to scale back. It's now not certain whether Franco will be able to play again this season. Through 58 games played for Tampa Bay in 2022, Franco owns a slash line of .260/.308/.396 (106 Taylor Walls has been the Rays' primary shortstop, but he hasn't fared well.) with five home runs. In Franco's absence,
Franco, who entered the majors as one of the most highly regarded prospects in years, authored an impressive rookie season in 2021 as a 20-year-old. All of that is why the Rays in late November of last year inked Franco to an 11-year, $182 million contract extension.
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These misfortunes don't dim Franco's long-term potential, but the latest setback could affect the Rays' designs on making and going deep into the postseason. Right now, the Rays are holding the third and final American League wild-card spot. However, the Minnesota Twins are just 1 1/2 games off the pace, and the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox are 2 1/2 and three games back, respectively.
It's still possible that the Rays get Franco back for the stretch run, but Sunday's news means that it won't happen as soon as they'd hoped.