MONDAY: Honeywell could be ready to pick up a ball again in January of 2020, Topkin tweets. His replacement ulnar collateral ligament is just fine, which represents a silver lining to the unfortunate situation.
SATURDAY: Top Rays prospect Brent Honeywell, on the mend from an April 2018 Tommy John Surgery, fractured a bone in his right elbow during a scheduled bullpen in Port Charlotte, Florida, and is out for the season, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. A surgery is scheduled for Monday.
Honeywell, a consensus top-30 prospect in every major outlet even after the Tommy John, had already experienced a major setback in his rehabilitation process this April when he was temporarily shelved with forearm soreness, an injury often precursor to major elbow damage. The 24-year-old’s vaunted screwball, perhaps the only pure version of the pitch used with regularity among professional hurlers today, was felt in some circles to be the tear’s root, though Honeywell only features it sporadically and had never been hurt prior to the surgery.
It’s obviously a brutal hit for both Honeywell and the Rays, though the latter can at least can hang its hat on an impressive young group of big-league arms and emerging talents below. Topkin, in a follow-up tweet, writes that Honeywell’s 2020 outlook is at yet unclear, though the club should know more after the Monday surgery is complete.
In 416 minor-league innings before last season, Honeywell had set down 458 batters on strikes while walking just 93 en route to a 2.88 ERA. He had little issue with the longball until he arrived for 2017 at Triple-A Durham, but his grounder rates remained robust. He was near-unanimously projected as a #2 starter in the majors should his stuff have returned to form. The future outlook now, of course, is far cloudier.