Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs is expected to have Tommy John surgery, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. That will put an end to his 2023 campaign and cause him to miss the start of the 2024 season as well. Earlier today, the club had placed him on the 15-day injured list with right-hander Taj Bradley recalled to take his place on the roster.
The news comes as a devastating blow to what had previously been a feel-good story. Springs, 30, was a 30th round draft pick of the Rangers and didn’t draw a lot of fanfare as a prospect. He got to the big leagues with Texas in 2018 and 2019, but posted an uninspiring 4.90 ERA through his first 64 1/3 innings. He was traded to the Red Sox but then put up a 7.08 ERA in the shortened 2020 season.
A trade to the Rays seemed to turn things around for him. He made 43 appearances in 2021 with a 3.43 ERA, 35.2% strikeout rate, 7.8% walk rate and 34.3% ground ball rate. Last year, the club gradually stretched him out to a starter’s workload over the course of the season. He eventually posted a 2.46 ERA in 135 1/3 innings, striking out 26.2% of batters faced while walking just 5.6% and getting grounders on 40.9% of balls in play. The Rays believed in that breakout enough to give the southpaw a four-year extension with a $31MM guarantee and plenty of incentives.
He was looking to build off that breakout campaign and was off to a strong start here in 2023. He had already tossed 16 innings with a tiny 0.56 ERA, though that will now seemingly go down as the entirety of his work this year. Rehab from Tommy John surgery typically takes 14 months or longer, meaning Springs won’t be an option for the club until midway through 2024 at the earliest.
The Rays had started the season with a strong rotation, even though there were a few injuries of note. Shane Baz had his own Tommy John surgery late last year and will likely miss all of the 2023 season. Tyler Glasnow also suffered an oblique strain in the spring and has yet to make his season debut. But Springs, Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, Zach Eflin and Josh Fleming formed a solid front five, helping the Rays jump out to a 13-0 start and a current 14-3 record.
Now the club will have to navigate the rest of the season without Springs. Eflin is also on the injured list but is expected to be back this weekend after a minimum stay. Bradley made his MLB debut in a spot start for the club last week and will now seemingly get a longer audition to stick around.
i mean wow!
Dang! There goes my best pitcher! Godspeed on the healing. See you next year sometime maybe.
Mine too. I’m in a keeper league so I will hold onto him.
Golden rule of fantasy sports: Nobody cares about other peoples’ leagues.
The difference between wisdom and intelligence is that the wise person often knows when not to speak just because he or she is correct
Wise decision signing that extension.
Fever Pitch Guy
Lord – Agreed! And despite the injury, it doesn’t absolve Bloom from making this horrible trade.
I just checked in to see how many haters would sign in to complain that we didn’t keep someone with a 7.08 ERA.
Like the hater in the red sox comments complaining we should have kept Vazquez what an idiot he is
that sucks 🙁
How did this go from a funny bone injury to full blown TJ!? Baseball injuries are super weird.
Sadly fore arm issues frequently means TJ.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
Yup “forearm tightness” is harbinger of doom 4 P
UCL tears can present themselves as many different types of arm pain
Ulnar Neuritis = TJ Surgery. Got it.
Sucks yet this team still goes to teh postseason as it never slows them down yet unlike 2021 like Glasnow dont let your best pitcher stop you from getting better as they have enough in the farm to go get a pitcher(and if they would have gotten Berrios in 2021 they win the World Series) or spend some money.
Did you drop out of school before learning about punctuation and sentences?
Um, you (like me) probably have been out of highschool for a minute.
Today: ‘2+2…what are your feelings about that?’
Indeed, but it grates on me like someone scratching a blackboard.
Yep. I reread his comment.
I re-regreted doing so.
LOL! I feel bad for some of today’s kids. Some, certainly nowhere near all, are going to spend 16 years of their lives discussing their feelings, only to graduate and find out that no one in the real world gives a rat’s a$$ about their feelings.
Technically speaking, if you did not finish high school, you are far more likely to believe that your “personal feelings” impact the answer of what 2 plus 2 equals.
Educated people know that 2 plus 2 equals 4.
Uneducated folks believe in an alternative reality where the answer (and all math) is up for debate.
“Uneducated folks believe in an alternative reality where the answer (and all math) is up for debate.”
You just described Liberal Arts Colleges.
Actually, I described a demographic who refuses to believe science and is led by a man who told an entire country to drink bleach so they could cure a virus.
No. You described Liberal Arts College.
Bart Harley Jarvis
And don’t forget about his recommendation of somehow putting uv lights into our body (possibly, via the tailpipe?). Bigly!
And the Rays decide never to extend anyone again. “See what happens!”
Every year, it seems like there is a pitcher or a group of pitchers who get off to a monster start, only to get injured and miss most, if not the entire rest of the season. I remember it happened to Matt Shoemaker a few years back with Toronto for 1 example.
Every year, it seems like there is a pitcher or a group of pitchers who get off to a monster start,
Some of them might be relying on pitches that wear you out quicker.
30th Round Draft Pick, my word. I wonder if that extension is some sort of record for such a late, late draft pick?? Tampa has some weird pitching mojo going on where they can resurrect these careers off scrap-heaps while at the same time blowing out their arms.
I think that record probably goes to Mike Piazza and the 7 year $91 million extension he signed with the Mets after the 1998 season. Piazza being a 62nd round pick which the draft doesn’t even go that high anymore
a record for Piazza that will never be broken.
Would love to see this team at full strength, just once.
One pitch wonder. Something in his contract that guarantees payment if he plays? Hmmm
Wow what a loss dude was hurling the ball so good this far in the season. Good thing he signed that extension, see you in mid 2024 at the earliest. Next man up is Taj Bradley, but still what a loss for baseball in general.
Hyperbole unnecessary. It’s no loss for baseball in general, whatever that even means. It creates an opportunity for the next man up.
True, but he was part of that nice winning streak that the Rays had.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
They R pitching factory, they’ll find sum “avg” guy w/upside only they can see n develop, sum1 who’s been passed around the circuit never having had solid run but the rays will find value whether it be in there spin rate, changing there repertoire, adding/subtracting a certain pitch, getting them to throw there wipeout pitch w/much more regularity, sum teams produce Ps while others can only dream of mostly homegrown pitching staff, it’s there program, Dodgers do it, Clev does it, taking prospects to nxt level on the mound n graduating em to bigs
That’s a big Blow but if any team has the pitching depth to overcome it it is the rays.
Question is more innings than quality as Glasnow coming back and Bradley coming up are great pitchers but with both of course their volume might be limited (one due to injury concern and the other due to ramping up from the minors).
That could lead to the pen getting taxed more but fortunately the rays have a lot of bullpen depth too.
Dumpster Divin Theo
More time for him to ponder his faith