The Tampa Bay Rays are an MLB-best 43-24, as the reigning American League Champions look to make another run at glory. The team has held opposing offenses to three runs or less on on forty separate occasions this season, including last night, and at the top of their stellar pitching depth is ace Tyler Glasnow.
Glasnow, 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in the 2021 campaign, has led the league in games started so far this season at 14. Across 88 innings of work, he’s struck out 123 hitters to only 27 walks, seeing a massive dip in his walk-rate. His 145 OPS+ is 45% above league average for a starting pitcher and his 2.75 FIP presents excellent peripherals. All things considered, Glasnow has been the Rays top player in 2021, was a surefire bet to make his first All-Star team and has taken the league by storm with his devastating curveball.
Yet, the Rays suffered a major blow last night when Glasnow was twitching his arm and left his start prematurely. With high hopes, the MRI was set to this morning and the prognosis was rather alarming, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
While Marc Topkin of the TBTimes reports that there is no timetable for return and Glasnow will be subject to further medical evaluation, this certainly isn’t what the Rays could have hoped for. For most pitchers, a tear in the UCL usually leads to Tommy John Surgery, which would put Glasnow out for over a year. A number of aces around the league, including former AL MVP Justin Verlander, are currently recovering from the procedure after attempting to rehabilitate a similar injury scare. One of the Rays other top starters, Yonny Chirinos, is currently recovering from Tommy John underwent during the 2020 season. Hopefully for Glasnow’s sake, this ends up not being as serious as other injuries around the league.
For the Rays, the blow is disappointing but if there is any team with enough and creativity to keep pace without their frontline starter, it’s Tampa Bay as we’ve seen it in the past. It’ll be fascinating to see if this should alter their plans ahead of the July 31st trade deadline. Despite the Rays historically not being buyers, they usually find ways to add to their major league club, including the trade that brought Glasnow and All-Star outfielder Austin Meadows to the club in 2018.
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