The Rays have decided to start ace lefty Blake Snell today after he bounced back quicker than expected from a minor toe fracture, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. There are some obvious risks to bringing him back before he’s ready, but the organization obviously feels that isn’t the case. The reigning American League Cy Young winner has been outstanding once again early in 2019, with a 2.16 ERA and 13.0 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9 over 25 frames.
More on the health front, focusing on some other AL hurlers:
- Indians righty Carlos Carrasco departed his start yesterday early with some left knee discomfort and will undergo an MRI to make sure there isn’t an injury. It’s being billed as a precautionary measure, as MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports (via Twitter). The Indians will hope it comes back clean, as he’s a key part of the team’s plan to fend off challengers in the AL Central. Carrasco has had a few rough outings this year, but has also spun a pair of 12-strikeout gems and was getting the job done yesterday before tweaking the joint.
- Rangers starter Drew Smyly was placed on the 10-day injured list yesterday with what the club described as mid-arm nerve tightness in his left arm. It seems the hope is that he’ll only miss a start or two; the placement was back-dated to April 20th. The 29-year-old Smyly hasn’t quite had the bounceback campaign he was hoping for to this point, with a 7.80 ERA, 19:10 K/BB ratio, and four home runs allowed through 15 innings over four starts. Right-handed Wei-Chieh Huang is up to take the open roster spot. He made his MLB debut earlier this season and has been throwing well at Double-A.
- The Athletics sent righty Marco Estrada in for an “ablation procedure” on his balky back yesterday, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to cover (Twitter links). It seems he’ll be out through at least early May, though there isn’t a precise timeline just yet. The hope seems to be that this surgery will speed things up a bit. Meanwhile, the A’s hoping that reliever Lou Trivino will bounce back quickly after he was struck in the thumb by a baseball. He’s taking a few days but not slated to hit the injured list at the moment.
- The Tigers announced yesterday that lefty Blaine Hardy was heading to the IL with a left forearm strain. Injuries to that area can be quite concerning for a pitcher, but there’s no real indication at this point of the outlook for the 32-year-old. After dabbling with the rotation in 2018, Hardy has been utilized in a multi-inning relief capacity thus far, throwing a dozen frames in eight appearances. Fellow southpaw Jose Fernandez takes his spot on the active roster.