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Jonathan Aranda, a promising infielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, has struggled against big league pitching, hitting only .212 in 66 games spread across the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Despite this, the Rays have maintained their belief in him, especially considering his impressive performance in the minor leagues. Aranda, who can play multiple infield positions, was expected to make his mark with the big club but suffered a setback when he fractured his finger during a fielding drill in March. He is expected to be out for four to six weeks, delaying his debut in the major league season.

The Rays have faced a string of injuries this spring, with outfielder Josh Lowe expected to return from an oblique strain in mid-April. Another outfielder, Jonny DeLuca, broke his hand during a game against the Red Sox and will also be out for at least a month. Pitcher Taj Bradley was shut down due to pectoral tightness and is expected to return in early May. To counter these injuries, the Rays have seen promising performances from Jacob Waguespack, Tyler Alexander, and others, providing depth and options for the team’s rotation moving forward.

The team’s outfield depth has been tested with injuries to Lowe, DeLuca, and the trade of Luke Raley to Seattle in January. Amed Rosario, who was signed early in spring training, could provide a solution as he is comfortable playing in the outfield. Richie Palacios, a left-handed hitter with limited MLB experience, is another option in right field, especially for his defensive skills until Lowe returns. The injuries have also prompted the team to consider using Harold Ramirez and Randy Arozarena in different outfield positions to cover for the absent players.

With Aranda’s injury delaying his debut and other key players on the shelf, the Rays have been focusing on adapting and plugging in players at multiple positions. The team’s depth and versatility have been put to the test this spring, but with promising performances from newcomers and veterans alike, they remain optimistic about their potential in the upcoming season. Despite the setbacks, the Rays are confident in their ability to overcome the challenges and remain competitive as they look ahead to the start of the season.

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