The Rays announced Wednesday that they’ve placed lefty Jalen Beeks on the 45-day injured list due to an elbow sprain and selected the contract of fellow southpaw Ryan Sherriff from their alternate training site. It’s another blow to the Rays’ pitching staff, as Beeks is now lost for the season. The team didn’t announce a treatment plan for Beeks, though the presence of a sprain indicates some degree of stretching or tearing within the elbow.
In the past week alone, the Rays have lost lefty Brendan McKay to shoulder surgery and right-hander Yonny Chirinos to Tommy John surgery. Tampa reliever Colin Poche also had Tommy John surgery earlier this season, righty Andrew Kittredge was diagnosed with a UCL sprain just two weeks ago. The Rays have also been without Charlie Morton for several weeks to shoulder inflammation. Also on the IL for the Rays are key relievers Nick Anderson, Oliver Drake, Jose Alvarado and Chaz Roe.
Beeks looks as if he’ll be a significant loss to Tampa Bay’s bullpen, which saw the 27-year-old turn in outstanding numbers this season before his campaign came to a premature end. Beeks made 12 appearances for the Rays and logged a 3.26 ERA/1.76 BB/9 with 12.1 K/9 and 1.86 BB/9 across 19 1/3 innings.
The Rays are obviously hopeful Sherriff will step up in the absence of Beeks and the rest of the their pitchers, but he brings a limited track record to the table and is coming off a major injury. Sherriff has thrown just 20 big league innings, all with the Cardinals from 2017-18, and owns a 4.05 ERA/4.51 FIP with 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and an exemplary 62.3 percent groundball rate. He signed with the Rays way back in October 2018, but the Tommy John surgery he underwent in June of that year mostly kept him on ice last season. In his first year with the Tampa Bay organization in 2019, Sherriff combined for just seven innings between the rookie and High-A levels.