Rays righty Yonny Chirinos is expected to be sidelined for about a month after a full examination of his elbow, per a report from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Meanwhile, fellow right-hander Nathan Eovaldi appears to be making good progress from elbow surgery.
Chirinos had already been put on the 10-day DL; at the time of the placement, though, it was not clear how long he would miss. While it’s certainly sub-optimal for the Tampa Bay organization to lose him at all, Topkin writes that the Rays were left feeling fortunate with the prognosis.
Elbow issues for young pitchers obviously tend to set off alarm bells. In this case, though, the medical opinion is that Chirinos is not dealing with any “structural damage,” per the report. Still, it seems the club has charted a cautious course for the rookie hurler, who has impressed (3.71 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9) in his first 26 2/3 MLB innings.
The loss of Chirinos is balanced somewhat by the optimism on Eovaldi, who required work to address bone chips after nearly making it all the way back from Tommy John surgery. But he won’t be available right away, and the Rays would obviously prefer to be able to call upon both pitchers, particularly with the ballclub showing some life after a rough opening few weeks.
Eovaldi is aiming to make it back up to the majors after about three weeks of work on the minor-league mound, with a target of the Rays’ series against the Red Sox beginning May 22nd. He is already pumping upper-nineties heat, Topkin reports (Twitter links), and will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow. Eovaldi’s anticipated timeline reflects the fact that he needs to ramp fully back up after going down just before the start of the season.