Nick Anderson likely out until after All-Star break with elbow tear

Nick Anderson (center) will be sidelined for at least eight weeks and probably more due to a partially torn elbow (Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays)

The misfortunes of Rays star reliever Nick Anderson during the 2020 postseason have come to fruition as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has reported that the right-hander has partially torn his elbow.

Anderson, who went on record in recent days saying that his arm felt fine, will be sidelined from throwing for eight weeks and from there, the Rays will decide what to do with him.

He didn’t look sharp during spring training and in his last outing, and he showed signs that he just didn’t feel like the same pitcher, who has arguably been the best reliever in baseball since joining the Rays in late July 2019.

This carries extra significance after the end of the 2020 season, when Anderson admitted to feeling fatigue during the postseason – the same postseason that he gave up a run in a record seven-straight outings.

He is also the same reliever who manager Kevin Cash entrusted to take the ball after pulling former Rays’ ace Blake Snell in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the 2020 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers

Anderson almost immediately blew the lead and series as the Dodgers would win. Now, the Rays are in a very tough situation to figure out how to replace him in the bullpen.

Most people know about “The Stable”, but with the losses of Aaron Loup to free agency and John Curtiss and Aaron Slegers in trades. Colin Poche is still recovering from injury, so the bullpen is much thinner now than expected.

It seems that the method the Rays were considering to experiment with when it came to having eight to 10 pitchers throw 80-100 innings during the season might have to become a reality.

Don’t count the Rays completely out because they always will find diamonds in the rough, but the process will need to be expedited much quicker now with Anderson not expected to appear in game action until at least late July.