Rays top prospect Junior Caminero sidelined with quad strain

ST.PETERSBURG — There is no offensive help on the horizon for the Rays. Top prospect Junior Caminero was placed on the injured list after injuring himself Tuesday night and is expected to miss four to six weeks with a left quad strain, according to Kevin Cash.

“I believe it’s a Grade-Two strain,” Cash said before Wednesday night’s game against the A’s at Tropicana Field.

Caminero was placed on the seven-day injured list at Triple-A Durham. He spent time on the IL earlier this season with the same issue.

“It’s just unfortunate because he’s been doing all of his work,” Triple-A Manager Morgen Ensberg told Bulls broadcaster Patrick Kinas. “It’s so devastating for a player to get hurt, but in the grand scheme of things, I’d equate this to some minor parking ticket. At some point, he’s gotta heal.”

The 20-year-old slugger is hitting .261 with eight home runs this season in Triple-A, but has been in a slump lately. He has three hits in his last 36 at-bats with 13 strikeouts.

The Rays brought Caminero to the big leagues last season, when he hit .235 with a homer and a double in seven games.

With the big-league club struggling to score runs, the Rays could use some power from anywhere they could get it at this point.

Righting history

Growing up in Kansas City, the home of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Jason Adam had visited the museum and was always aware of the great players from the past that were ignored by baseball because of the color of their skin.

“As a kid, I got a chance to meet Buck O’Neill,” Adam said. “I just remember that his hand was huge. I could have circled mine like three times.”

So Adam was one of the major league players pleased with Major League Baseball’s decision to incorporate the Negro League statistics into their own, which was announced on Wednesday.

“Those guys were incredibly talented,” Adam said. “It’s a shame they were separated in the past and I am glad they are bringing them in now.”

The move changes several of baseball’s all-time leaders now. Josh Gibson, one of the greatest sluggers in the history of the Negro Leagues, is now listed as the majors’ all-time career leader in batting average at .372, moving ahead of Ty Cobb at .367.

More than 2,300 Negro Leagues players from 1920-1948 were added to the MLB database as more stats are “still being discovered.”

Also, MLB career statistics for Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Minnie Miñoso now reflect their Negro Leagues accomplishments.

For example, Robinson’s 49 hits with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945 increased his career total from 1,518 to 1,567. Paige’s career wins total goes from 28 to 125 and Miñoso’s 150 hits with the New York Cubans raised his career total over the 2,000 hits milestone to 2,113.

“I think we all know they were playing at an incredibly high level and they belong,” Adam said. “I am glad they are included now.”

Umpire sidelined

There was a nearly 10-minute delay in the top of the fifth inning when home plate umpire Brian O’Nora was forced to leave the game. The veteran umpire seemed to be feeling unwell and then took a foul ball off the face mask before he left. Derek Thomas took over the home-plate duties and the game proceeded with a three-man crew.

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