News that Rays ace Shane McClanahan would require Tommy John surgery already strongly implied that he’ll miss not just the remainder of the 2023 season but perhaps the entire 2024 campaign as well — and McClanahan has effectively confirmed as much to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin writes that the 26-year-old McClanahan expects to be sidelined until 2025 after renowned surgeons Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Keith Meister both made the same recommendation. Meister, who performed the procedure, also “cleaned up” some bone chips in McClanahan’s elbow, the pitcher added.
“I was really frustrated when I found out, but I can’t control that,” McClanahan tells Topkin. “…I want to control how hard I work, the quality of teammate I am and the consistency on the field. And ultimately, the next year, year and a half, whatever it may be, I’m going to work my butt off to make sure that when I’m healthy, it’s going to be the same me.” Topkin’s piece contains plenty of quotes from McClanahan on his injury, the surgery and his mindset as he embarks on a lengthy rehab process, so Rays fans in particular will want to check it out in full.
A few more injury notes from around the league…
- Angels infielder/outfielder Luis Rengifo exited last night’s game with a strained left biceps that he apparently sustained taking swings in the on-deck circle prior to his first at-bat, per Sarah Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels are further evaluating him today, but manager Phil Nevin conceded that the injury “doesn’t look good.” Further details will surely follow once the 26-year-old Rengifo has undergone imaging. A Rengifo injury of note would be the latest in a series of unwelcome developments for the Angels. He’s been the team’s hottest hitter for the past six weeks, evidenced by a scalding .342/.393/.602 batting line with nine homers, nine doubles, three triples and just a 14.6% strikeout rate in that time. On the whole Rengifo is hitting .264/.339/.444 in what has easily been the most productive all-around season of his still-young career. He’s under club control for an additional two seasons beyond the current campaign.
- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw still isn’t pitching at 100% following the shoulder strain that sent him to the injured list this summer, writes Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. Kershaw didn’t reach 90 mph in his most recent start, and his average fastball velocity of just 88.4 mph in that outing was the second-lowest of any appearance in his career. Kershaw, however, is adamant that he can continue to pitch through the issue — and the Dodgers appear willing to let him do so. “If he is able to take the baseball, he’s going to take the baseball,” manager Dave Roberts said of the left-hander.
- Marcus Stroman hasn’t pitched since July 31 due to inflammation in his hip and, more problematically, a rib cartilage fracture that was discovered as he was on the cusp of returning from that hip issue. However, he tossed 29 pitches during a live batting practice session yesterday, per Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Cubs manager David Ross acknowledged that the right-hander appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery. Stroman will likely require at least one minor league rehab start (if not two), but it seems there’s a good chance the 32-year-old could return before season’s end — and perhaps factor into the postseason rotation. How Stroman fares down the stretch will be worth watching with a particularly close eye, as he has a $21MM player option for the 2024 season but has long appeared likely to decline that and return to the market in search of a lengthier pact.