Rays southpaw Jeffrey Springs left yesterday’s start with ulnar neuritis in his throwing arm. That indicated some degree of nerve inflammation in the area and the issue is apparently serious. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Springs is expected to miss two months at a minimum.
The club is still seeking further evaluation, but Topkin ominously adds that the issue extends beyond the nerve. It’s not out of the question that surgery could be required, which would obviously extend Springs’ recovery timetable. Even in a best case scenario, Tampa Bay will be without one of its top starters for an extended stretch.
Springs went for an MRI this morning. Specifics on imaging aren’t clear, though manager Kevin Cash acknowledged to reporters before tonight’s game that he’d miss time. Springs will surely land on the 15-day injured list and seems likely to find himself on the 60-day IL at some point.
It’s a brutal development for a Tampa Bay club that has been firing on all cylinders. Springs has played his part in the Rays’ 13-0 start with a brilliant start to the season. He’d allowed only one run in 16 innings, punching out 24 while walking just four. He’d looked on his way to backing up last year’s breakout showing, when he moved from long reliever to key rotation piece after pitching to a 2.46 ERA through 135 1/3 innings.
The Rays are now down another important starter. Tampa Bay will be without Shane Baz for most or all of the year after last summer’s Tommy John surgery. Tyler Glasnow went down with an oblique strain in Spring Training and isn’t expected to return at least until the middle of May. Offseason signee Zach Eflin hit the 15-day injured list with back tightness earlier in the week.
Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen are locked into the rotation. Josh Fleming has operated at the back of the staff and figures to have a long leash given the injuries. The Rays called upon top prospect Taj Bradley for his MLB debut this week. Bradley was optioned back to Triple-A Durham after that start but can be recalled to replace Springs once he lands on the IL. Luis Patiño and Yonny Chirinos are on the 40-man roster as options for the back end.
A potentially serious injury to Springs would be a tough blow from a longer-term perspective as well. The Rays bet on Springs sustaining last year’s breakout, inking him to a $31MM extension over the offseason. He’s under contract through 2026 with a club option for the ’27 campaign.
Terrible news for the Ray’s. Springs was pitching so well. But without a doubt the Ray’s will find someone to replace him and create another diamond in the rough. They clearly see what others do not. They are fun to watch.
I’ve thought for a while now that it’s not so much their finding “diamonds in the rough” as they encourage their pitchers to throw in a way that puts too much torque on portions of their body in an effort to throw harder and with more movement on their pitches.
They go through an awful lot of pitchers that never do as well when they leave for other teams, but don’t get hurt as often.
its probably more in the middle, focusing on maximizing one’s abilities working with what they have. of course, when you attempt to push a human body to its limits, you sometimes find them. the rays are great at getting the most out of whoever they have.
pohle: I agree. The arm isn’t made to be used in the way it takes to throw a 90 mph pitch. You can see it in still photos of a pitcher’s arm as he’s about to throw the ball. Sometimes you can see it coming. Every time Garrett Crochet threw the ball his rookie year I cringed. I knew something bad was going to happen and it did. tj surgery, missed all of last year and won’t be until the second half of this season.
C Yards Jeff
The clock. The clock! Is it the clock? Less time in between pitches not a healthy change, mentally and/or physically, for some pitchers.
Ya they are fun to watch!
It’s like they have got some kind of magic potion out of a fairy tale, but ya know, sooner or later, everyone turns back into a pumpkin. Not a real team
Gotta hope Taj does well and Eflin comes back quick
As a baseball fan, this is terrible news. I hate seeing injuries like this. Hope for a speedy recovery (as much as possible).
Love the Rays….
But no team burns out pitchers like they do.
You’re right about that.
No one else finds pitchers the way they do either.
This isn’t computer baseball where a team “finds” a pitcher and we run a randomizing routine to see how he does.
Teams develop and work with pitchers they have under contract literally daily.
They find hidden gems nearly every year. Rasmussen and Springs are 2 examples, and that’s not including the bullpen.
Rasmussen was hardly hidden, he was pitching for the Brewers as a starter. He came over in the Willy Adames trade along with J. P. Feyereisen.
Feyereisen pitched well for the Rays in 2021 and early 2022 in relief before needing – ahem – surgery to repair the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Rays DFA’ed him on December 13.
Springs pitched 3 years in relief for the Rangers and Red Sox. The Rays also pitched him in relief in 2021. In 2022 they made him primarily a starter, where he pitched 135 innings. After 16 innings this year, now he’s hurt.
Johnny Cueto pitched an inning this year and got hurt. Jacob Degrom has been on and off the IL every year for 3 years. Luis Severino has been consistently hurt since 2019. Guys get hurt. Literally happens to every team, so unless youre going to do some thorough analysis on every pitchers innings jump and any corresponding injuries, try not to single out this one example as though it’s indicative of a problem only the Rays deal with.
Come on, Rasmussen and Springs were nobodies until the Rays acquired them and molded them into the excellent starters they’ve become. And unless you have some data to back it up, stop with blaming the Rays for their pitching injuries. Many other teams have multiple pitchers getting hurt.
cuban1 & Hammerin’ Hank;
Yes, the Rays “molded them”. and like I wrote above: “they encourage their pitchers to throw in a way that puts too much torque on portions of their body in an effort to throw harder and with more movement on their pitches.”
I’ve given examples of the Rays injured pitchers. I can easily find over 10 pitcher the past 5 years with them – how will you pay me if I document them? You guys have given examples one pitcher that played on multiple teams.
How about you guys giving examples of multiple pitchers over years that a team acquired that all wound up getting injured a year or two after seemingly coming out of nowhere to have a good year?
Drew Rasmussen starts in a Milwaukee uniform: zero.
You’re right about that. I misread some stats.
But I’m tired of fighting with the kids.
From Blake Snell through Tyler Glasnow and at least half-a dozen other pitchers the past 5 years, the Rays seem to “find” or “develop” pitchers that had little – if any – success in the Majors. Those pitchers have a very good year or year-and-a-half out of nowhere….and then they’re injured. It’s ridiculous.
Here is ESPN’s current depth chart for the Rays starters:
Tyler Glasnow IL15
Jeffrey Springs O
Zach Eflin IL15
It just seems like this every single year. There isn’t another team in MLB that I’ve seen this happen on a regular basis year-after-year. This is beyond “bad luck” or “chance”.
First off, Blake Snell and Glasnow didnt “come out of nowhere” they were top prospects. Second, aside from his cy young season which the metics said he wasnt as good as, Blake Snell has been pretty consistent every year of his career which was mostly with the Rays. Third, the only noticeable difference ive seen looking at fangraphs in how Rays pitchers throw is once the team gets them they change their pitch mix and ask them to throw fewer fastballs and more changeups. For instance, Springs went from throwing nearly for 60% fastballs to a high of 41.9 in 2+ season with the rays and aside from that first year in relief his velocity is actually down as a starter compared to the texas/boston years so im not sure what youre talking about that they are asked to throw harder and put more torque on their bodies.
Rasmussen by comparison went from throwing nearly 70% fastballs to throwing fewer fastballs and sliders and developing a cutter and his average fastball velocity went down. Feyereisen fastball usage diminished once the rays got him, and his changeup usage increased and his velocity also ticked down. Yet again im want to know where the proof is that they are being asked to throw harder.
The Rays also received Shane Baz in the trade with the Pirates, and many felt he was a better prospect than Glasnow.
Long story short from wiki….
“Baz was called up in September of 2021. In March of 2022 he had arthroscopic elbow surgery and was placed on the 60-day injured list. He made 6 starts for the Rays, recording a 1–2 record and 5.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 27.0 innings pitched. He was placed back on the injured list on July with a right elbow strain, and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on July 16 after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection. On September 28, Baz underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his 2022 and 2023 seasons.”
I don’t have the time. Why don’t you try emailing a Tampa sports writer because I have to believe someone has done an in-depth analysis of the inordinate amount of pitcher injuries the Rays have had over the past 5-10 years.
“I dont have time to pay attention to something that proved by so called observation as complete bull$hit, nor do i have the time to look and see that other teams such as the Dodgers for instance had 18 pitchers last year alone with some kind of arm injury, 5 of which resulted in TJ surgery.”
Correction: a couple of those were still injured from prior years. Point remains, other teams deal with it too.
When are they putting him on the IL?
braves fan 138
Braves fan 138: I’m glad someone finally said it.
He must have bone spurs pushing against the nerve. That’s the only way it would be a significant time out of action relating to a nerve.
That stinks. Wasn’t aware of Eflin on the DL. That didn’t take long. He’s good for 30 days a season. I liked him with the Phils but he’s porcelain.
Bummer. We need more corky dads making their kids ambidextrous throwers to combat the TJS/arm implosion rate in modern baseball.
Speaking of ambidextrous, I was a .300 switch hitter. .150 righty and .150 lefty.
As you were.
OK Ulnar Neuritis = Bad. Got it. This was a new one on me.
God punishing him for not wearing the Pride hat
Jeez that’s a bummer, he was starting the season firing on all cylinders.
Welcome to life as a Tigers fan. Mize, Skubal, Jobe.
I hope the best for him. He has very good stuff
Doom & Bloom
Rays still loaded
Dumpster Divin Theo
Should give the lad plenty of time to contemplate his faith based decisions with his buds