3:40PM: “Fortunately, it’s nothing serious,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin and other reporters. Cash also sounded optimistic, saying that Archer could only have tendinitis and might miss just one start, though an injured list stint is likely.
2:11PM: Archer left the game due to right lateral forearm tightness, the team announced.
1:41PM: Chris Archer exited today’s start against the Yankees due to an apparent injury. After DJ LeMahieu’s one-out double in the third inning, Archer was visited on the mound by Rays manager Kevin Cash and the team trainer. That ended Archer’s day after 42 pitches and 2 1/3 scoreless innings (four strikeouts, three hits, no walks).
While there hasn’t yet been any word on the nature of Archer’s injury, it doesn’t bode well that the right-hander has run into another issue in the wake of a lost 2020 season. Archer missed all of last year after undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, and was also limited to 119 2/3 innings with the Pirates in 2019 due to thumb and shoulder problems. Between Nick Anderson, Chaz Roe, and Pete Fairbanks, the Rays have already taken a lot of injury hits to their bullpen this season, and now a potential absence for Archer threatens their rotation depth.
Archer signed a one-year, $6.5MM free agent deal with the Rays in February, returning to the site of his early-career heyday. Archer was a two-time All-Star during his original stint in Tampa from 2012 until the 2018 trade deadline, when the Rays sent him to the Pirates in what is now one of the more infamous trades in Pittsburgh baseball history. Between Archer’s injuries and struggles with the Pirates, the team unsurprisingly declined their $11MM club option on his services last fall.