The Rays have placed left-handed ace Shane McClanahan on the 15-day injured list with mid-back tightness, per a club announcement. In a corresponding move, the club has recalled left-hander Jalen Beeks. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes that the move comes after McClanahan reported tightness following a second consecutive shortened start.
McClanahan, 26, sports a sterling 2.53 ERA through 17 starts this season even after the aforementioned two shortened outings during which he allowed a combined six runs over 6 2/3 innings of work. He’s been key to the Rays’ success so far this season, helping lift the club to an MLB-best 57-28 record even as a 3.85 FIP and sky-high 88% strand rate indicate regression could be on the horizon for the young lefty.
While any missed time is certainly a blow to Tampa given McClanahan’s dominant performance in the first half this season, Topkin notes that the lefty ace could miss just one start thanks to the coming All Star break so long as his current injury requires only a minimal stay on the shelf. McClanahan himself seemed confident the issue was relative minor in conversation with reporters Friday, framing the impending trip to the IL as a decision geared toward preparing him for the second half.
“We’ve got a lot of ballgames left to play and an IL stint in early July, missing one start, is not the end of the world,” McClanahan told reporters, including Topkin. “With a lot of meaningful games, hopefully in October, I want to make sure we correct it now.”
Replacing McClanahan on the active roster is Beeks, who struggled for the club earlier this season. In 25 games (including seven starts as an opener), Beeks posted a rough 5.87 ERA, 30% below league average by measure of ERA+. While a 3.57 xERA and a 4.37 FIP indicate Beeks may have pitched a bit better than those results indicate, the 29-year-old hurler is hardly a replacement for McClanahan nonetheless. The Rays figure to lean on a four-man rotation of Tyler Glasnow, Zach Eflin, Taj Bradley, and Yonny Chirinos in the run-up to the midsummer classic later this month.
With the trade deadline just a month away, McClanahan joining Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen on the shelf in Tampa highlights the club’s need for pitching. It’s an issue that GM Peter Bendix recently addressed during a conversation with the media that saw him indicate the club’s front office would be doing “everything [they] can” to bolster the roster in the coming weeks as they attempt to capture the first World Series title in franchise history.