DUNEDIN, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has another freaky injury: left eye irritation stemming from an eyelash.
Kiermaier left Saturday night’s game against Toronto in the fifth inning after first experiencing discomfort while shagging balls during batting practice.
“A couple minutes in, I was like, dang it, I got an eyelash in my eye,” Kiermaier said. “There was an eyelash in there and then we rinsed my eye, and then it disappeared or kind of went into one of these crevices or whatever. Once that happened, everything took a turn for the worse.”
“I don’t know how or if we scratched, that’s definitely what it feels like,” Kiermaier added. “I keep telling people it just feels like a piece of sand on the inside of my eyelid. Every time I blink, just pressure, irritation, a scratching feeling.”
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Kiermaier was not scheduled to start in Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays but was available off the bench.
Kiermaier felt slight improvement Sunday.
“Still feel a little bit of a scratch or irritation, whatever we’ve got going on in there,” he said.
Kiermaier has a history of offbeat injuries, including hurting his hand during a base-running slide and injuring a wrist while attempting a diving catch.
“It’s just one of those weird things,” he said. “Seems like this stuff could only happen to me. Got to get through it and roll with the punches. I’ll be fine. I assume I’ll be 100% whenever my eye chooses to cooperate, but we’re kind of waiting for that moment.”