The early-season injuries continue for the Rays as the team announced that right-handed pitcher Pete Fairbanks has been placed on the 10-day IL with a right rotator cuff strain, Adam Berry of MLB.com reported.
Fairbanks is the latest Rays pitcher to be placed in the injured list after reporting discomfort during Tampa Bay’s latest road series in Boston.
The current IL list of pitchers could honestly be the best bullpen in baseball. Let that sink in as you take a look at Tampa Bay’s current injured list just for its pitching.
In his place, RHP Hunter Strickland, known most for a weird feud with Bryce Harper that resulted in a fight several seasons ago in San Francisco, was called up.
There were several names that Rays fans were hoping the team would consider first, including LHPs Josh Fleming and Shane McClanahan.
Some also pointed toward RHP David Hess getting a nod soon despite his struggles during spring training.
However, regardless of all of this, the Rays have been put into a big hole early as the strength of what was arguably the best bullpen in baseball, has been reduced significantly to start 2021.
From this, do expect that Tampa Bay will bring up Fleming and McClanahan at least in May just due to the sheer amount of issues that the team has dealt with so far.
As for the Rays fanbase, do expect to see many young arms aside from the two mentioned above in 2021. This season is already destined to be a roller coaster one, but again, just six games have been played, so pump the brakes on any hot takes for the time being.
It’s just April 9. There’s 156 games of baseball and many months left to see what happens, but this isn’t a good early-season sign at all.