Per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays right-hander Jason Adam was unavailable during tonight’s 7-6 loss to the Guardians due to an oblique strain that will send him to the injured list. Adam hasn’t pitched since August 27 due to the issue. It’s another devastating injury for Tampa’s pitching staff, which has already lost three of its five opening day rotation members for the season in Jeffrey Springs, Drew Rasmussen and Shane McClanahan. Now, the bullpen has lost perhaps its most reliable setup arm for right-hander Pete Fairbanks.
After a sensational 2022 campaign with the Rays where Adam posted a 1.56 ERA in 67 appearances, the 31-year-old righty has taken a step back but is still dominant with a 2.67 ERA in 54 innings this season, 56% better than league average by measure of ERA+. With Adam headed to the IL, it’s fair to wonder if his regular season is in jeopardy, though without confirmation from Rays brass its hard to speculate on a timetable for return given the considerable variance in severity regarding oblique injuries. With Adam headed to the shelf, the Rays figure to rely on Fairbanks, Colin Poche, and Robert Stephenson to cover the late innings, with veteran Andrew Kitteredge as a potential X-factor for the bullpen as he returns from last year’s Tommy John surgery.
More from around the AL East…
- The Blue Jays had interested in then-Mets outfielder Mark Canha prior to the trade deadline, when he was ultimately traded to the Brewers. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the club considered dealing for an additional bat like Canha or fellow Met Tommy Pham (who was eventually traded to Arizona) before ultimately opting to rely on prospect Davis Schneider to boost the offense down the stretch. While the decision to lean on Schneider looks prescient as the 24-year-old has set the world on fire with a 270 wRC+ in his first 15 games, a bat like Canha or Pham would surely help cover for the loss of Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman to the injured list earlier this week. Nicholson-Smith also notes that the club rebuffed interest from a free agent middle infielder toward the end of August in deference to Ernie Clement, who like Schneider has also delivered in a small sample size since taking over for Bichette at shortstop.
- Orioles right-hander Tyler Wells is struggling with arm fatigue as he converts to a bullpen role with Triple-A Norfolk, as manager Brandon Hyde told reporters (including Jake Rill of MLB.com) today. As Rill notes, Wells last pitched on August 25, with Hyde noting that the righty hasn’t “bounced back” from his last outing as hoped. Wells posted a 3.18 ERA in 104 2/3 innings of work prior to the All Star break but was rocked for 11 runs in nine innings of work in three appearances after the break, prompting the club to demote the 29-year-old hurler for a conversion to the bullpen.