Tampa Bay Rays Relief Ace Hits The IL

The Tampa Bay Rays just keep on chugging along atop baseball's best division despite a slew of pitching injuries this season. Another tough break for the Rays' staff was announced today as they've placed co-closer Pete Fairbanks on the injured list. 

Rays beat writer Marc Topkin reports that Fairbanks has been diagnosed with hip inflammation.

Fairbanks was readying for a save situation on Sunday, warming up in the bullpen after the eighth inning, when he injured his hip. He was seen limping from the bullpen to the dugout, accompanied by a trainer.

Manager Kevin Cash said that they will get more imaging done on Fairbanks' hip on Tuesday but in the meantime he will head to the 15-day IL.

Jason Adam, the other part of the Rays' solid two-headed high-leverage monster, will now take over the highest-leverage situations full-time for the next two weeks. He reacted to the Fairbanks news: "It's next man up. That's absolutely the mentality... We have the right coaching in place... We can take arms that people don't expect and turn them into back-of-the-bullpen arms." Adam himself is a prime example. 

Fairbanks has five saves this season, along with a 1.54 ERA. He also missed a couple of weeks earlier in the month with forearm inflammation. 

Adam has seven saves (all in May) against three blown saves this season, with a 3.22 ERA. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports