In a season that has been so positive and dominant so far for the Tampa Bay Rays, the team and its fans received shocking news Tuesday afternoon.
As reported through various outlets, including Jeff Passan and Marc Topkin, right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, the ace of this Rays rotation, has been placed on the IL after an MRI revealed a partial UCL tear and flexor tendon strain in his pitching arm.
He exited Monday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox after just four innings when it looked like he was experiencing discomfort in his arm.
Unfortunately, while the team and fans hoped there would be no significant problems with their ace, those nightmares were realized and now, the Rays will have to keep up their domination without Glasnow in the rotation.
To put his season in perspective, Glasnow, in 14 starts this season, had given up just 26 runs in 88.0 innings pitched, striking out 123 and posting a 12.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 ratio.
At this point in the season, Glasnow was an AL Cy Young candidate for sure, currently in the top 5 in the AL in WHIP, H/9, FIP, strikeouts, K/9 and Win Probability Added (WPA), along with posting a 2.0 WAR already.
In short, he’s been nothing short of incredible this season, but like in 2019, when Glasnow started off the season on a tear, he was sidelined until late into 2019 with arm issues.
Now, while the Rays got him for over a month longer to start the season, he will be out of the rotation indefinitely.
Though his loss will be heavily felt on this team, the Rays are a team that is built with depth in mind and the arms that this team can bring up from the minors should be able to supplement Glasnow’s place on this pitching staff for some time.
Expect to see Luis Patino back with the major league club soon as well as Brent Honeywell, and we could even see the debuts of Drew Strotman or maybe Joe Ryan and the newly-promoted Shane Baz.
Baz’s chances of getting called up are slim-to-none in 2021, but someone like Adrian De Horta or even Brendan McKay once he recovers from injury, are possible.
Also, the Rays have enough arms up right now on the big league club that they can make their way through and still be dominant.
Hopefully, the best-case scenario is that Glasnow will return soon after the All-Star Break, but the most important thing is that the Rays don’t rush him back and keep their ace healthy as he begins his recovery back to getting back on the mound.