Rays two-way player Brendan McKay underwent thoracic outlet syndrome decompression surgery yesterday, the team informed reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). He’s expected to begin throwing in early February, and the team remains hopeful he can be ready for mound work by the start of Spring Training. The club added that the focus of his rehab process will be on pitching.
If all goes according to plan, it doesn’t seem this procedure will have an impact on McKay’s health for the start of the 2022 campaign. That said, it’s another unfortunate injury development in a long line of recent health issues. The southpaw missed the shortened 2020 season on account of a shoulder problem that eventually required surgery. That kept him out of action until late June of this year. Just a few outings into a minor league rehab stint, he suffered a flexor strain in his forearm that again proved to be season-ending.
The injuries have limited the former #4 overall draft pick to just 49 MLB innings, all of which came back in 2019. McKay’s situation with the club could be complicated by his roster status, as he’s currently slated to be out of minor league options. In that instance, the team would need to either carry him on the active roster (or major league injured list) all season or risk losing him on waivers. Topkin reported earlier this month that the Rays expect they’ll be granted a fourth option year because of McKay’s repeated injury issues, though. That would allow the team to shuttle him between Tampa and Triple-A Durham through the end of next season.