With the Rays seeking to hang on to a Wild Card spot, they will need whatever contributions they can get from several injured players — among them, righty Tyler Glasnow. Today’s update on the situation delivers a bit of a mixed bag of news on the exciting young hurler, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter links).
Most importantly, Glasnow was able to make it through a 15-pitch bullpen session without incident. Indeed, he indicated that he’s feeling great about his chances of making it back to the majors after that session. The odds are “very high” that he’ll be ready to roll down the stretch, the hurler says just days from his 26th birthday.
It’ll still be some time before Glasnow has built up a pitch count and crossed a few other barriers (including reintroducing his full repertoire). But that process will be eased by the other major facet of today’s news on Glasnow. He indicated that he will not try to build fully back up to work as a starter. That’ll obviously be the long-term goal, but for the time being Glasnow will target a return in a short-relief capacity.
While that’s obviously disappointing to an extent, it reflects the simple realities of the situation. The Rays will surely be wary of taking too much risk with a major long-term piece, even in a season in which they’re in good position to crack the postseason. And there simply isn’t enough time (especially given the forthcoming end of the minor-league campaign) to stretch Glasnow out on anything less than an aggressive timeline. Bringing him back as a reliever — even an opener, Topkin notes — likely offers the best route to getting some impact and balancing the competing demands. If all goes well, perhaps it’s possible that Glasnow will be able to work more than one frame in key situations late in the year and/or in the postseason.