Breaking: Tampa Bay Rays Bench Superstar For Disciplinary Reasons

Just about everything has gone right for the Tampa Bay Rays this year on the field (pitching injuries excepted). But the first little crack in the happy Rays family has emerged as manager Kevin Cash has benched star shortstop Wander Franco for disciplinary reasons.

Cash says Franco is not in the lineup tonight and won't be on Friday either, due to "the way he handles his frustrations and not being a better teammate." 

Wander is a really good kid and good person. He's a young player that is learning and dealing with the challenges of being a major league player, and some of the frustrations that come with it over the course of this season. There's been probably multiple times that the way he has handled his frustrations have not been the way that we ask our players to uphold being the best teammate. That being said, we're going to continue to support Wander as he works through this.

Cash did add that Franco “is a good kid” and they will work with him to improve. 

Franco is slashing .287/.349/.455 this season, with eight home runs and 24 stolen bases, and ranks third in the MLB with a 3.8 WAR. Recently, however, the 22 year old has hit just .192 over his last 13 games, and has at times he shown his frustration by not hustling on routine plays.

Does that really qualify as "not being a good teammate"? It's quite possible there is something else going on behind the scenes. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports