The Tampa Bay Rays placed shortstop Wander Franco on the injured list on Tuesday because of a strained quadriceps muscle. Franco had missed a trivial amount of time earlier in May because of the same quad, and he re-aggravated the injury on Monday as part of a three-hit game versus the Texas Rangers.
In corresponding moves, the Rays selected the contract of right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong and also designated lefty Ben Bowden for assignment. Armstrong is in his second stint with the Rays, having appeared in 11 games with Tampa Bay last season. He rejoined the organization this month on a minor-league deal after being released by the Miami Marlins.
Franco, 21 years old, heads to the shelf having batted .270/.305/.421 (119 OPS+) with four home runs and 13 additional extra-base hits in his first 45 games. His contributions to date had been worth an estimated 1.7 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.
With Franco sidelined, the Rays will ostensibly hand the shortstop position over to Taylor Walls. Manager Kevin Cash has been using Walls at a few different infield positions as part of a timeshare arrangement with fellow young infielders Isaac Paredes and Vidal Brujan. Walls is the only member of the Rays roster other than Franco to see time at short this season.
The Rays, who entered Tuesday in second place in the American League East with a 28-20 record on the season, are now dealing with a number of injuries to key contributors. In addition to Franco, Tampa Bay is without second baseman Brandon Lowe; starters Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz, Luis Patiño; and bullpen fixtures like Pete Fairbanks, Nick Anderson, and closer Andrew Kittredge. The Rays have lost the second most days to injury of any team this season, according to Spotrac; only the Cincinnati Reds have lost more.