Tyler Glasnow has been placed on the 10-day injured list after being removed from his start yesterday with forearm soreness. An MRI returned a mild forearm strain, better than a potential elbow issue as was the fear, though Glasnow is expected to miss four to six weeks of action, as reported by both MLB.com’s Juan Toribio (via Twitter) and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links). Andrew Velazquez will be recalled to take Glasnow’s roster spot.
While this isn’t the worst case scenario for the Rays, it’s certainly disappointing to see Glasnow out for an extended period. As Jeff Todd pointed out yesterday at the time of the injury, Glasnow’s production has aligned with expectations for the first time this season, his first full season in Tampa after being acquired in the Chris Archer deal. Still only 25-years-old, the hard-throwing, 6’8″ righty has bull-rushed opponents with an average 96.6 mph heater, 10.24 K/9 to only 1.68 BB/9, while limiting impact contact with only 3.8% of at-bats resulting in an extra-base hit, a number that ranks second in the American League.
Andrew Velazquez, 24, joins the club in the short-term from Triple-A, where he’s worked a batting line of .290/.347/.495. He is as well-suited for the Rays as a player can be, providing tremendous versatility via speed, switch-hitting and the ability to play all over the diamond. In just 13 games with the big league club last year, Velazquez managed time at every position except pitcher, catcher, and first, while twice being used a pinch-runner and once at designated hitter. While he did not rank among the Rays’ top 30 prospects per MLB.com, the New York native has cut down on his strikeouts through 101 plate appearances so far this season, and while it’s still early, his versatility should provide more opportunity enough to stick in the bigs at some point.
As for the rotation, there will be increased pressure on Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, the other two rotation stalwarts for a roster that largely relies on a pitching-by-committee approach. At 48 1/3 innings, Glasnow heads to the injured list as the Rays leader in innings pitched so far this season. Yonny Chirinos has pitched well both as a starter and a follower, including an efficient 7 1/3 innings in his last start against Baltimore. Jalen Beeks has also given the Rays quality innings in a long man/follower role, with a 2.48 ERA in ten games averaging almost three innings per outing. With a 12-man pitching staff at present, the Rays are likely to maintain a fluid approach to roster construction in the near-term.