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Should Rays be concerned with another Tyler Glasnow injury? | Locked On Rays

It's been a rough two years for Glasnow, who recently made a comeback from Tommy John surgery. He signed an extension with the Rays last summer.

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow has had a rough couple of years. In June 2021, Glasnow tore his UCL after Major League Baseball’s crackdown on foreign substances. It was a partial tear of the ligament and he also strained his flexor tendon but opted to rehab the injuries and not have any type of surgery right away.

By the end of July of that year, Glasnow underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of that season and most of 2022. He returned to the Rays at the tail end of the season and made two starts, pitching to a 1.35 ERA in 6 and ⅔ innings of work. He also started and pitched five innings in the marathon Game 2 of the Wild Card Series between the Rays and the Cleveland Guardians which the Rays ultimately lost in 15 innings and ended their season.

Glasnow was looking to pitch in his first full season since 2020 and help the Tampa Bay Rays get back to the top of the American League East Division but now, it looks like his 2023 won’t be starting on time. Glasnow tweaked his oblique during a bullpen session earlier this week and it was revealed on Tuesday that it was a grade two strain and he could miss 6-8 weeks.

Hosts Kevin Weiss and Ulisses Sambrano of the Locked On Rays podcast addressed Glasnow’s injury on the latest episode of their show.

“It could be worse. It could be the shoulder, it could be the elbow. It’s not an arm injury. It’s the oblique, it’s not a worst-case scenario,” Sambrano said.

Adding that even though the Rays are saying 6-8 weeks, if Glasnow misses the max of that range, that means he’ll have to have some sort of Spring Training and make some rehab starts before he can see real game action which could push the start of his season back to sometime in May.

Both Weiss and Sambrano say best case scenario is Glasnow only misses three to four starts at most.

“He is an elite, unique, freakish athlete so his body could heal quicker,” Weiss said.

Weiss also went through the Rays' schedule for the first few weeks of the season noting that other than teams like the Blue Jays and Astros, nearly every team they’re facing was either at or below .500 last season so missing a big piece of the rotation like Glasnow while bad, may not be as disastrous with an easier schedule. 

Another silver lining the hosts pointed out is with Glasnow out, it gives other players an opportunity to step in and help the team. But they teased their choices which they will reveal in their next episode. But if you wanted to take a guess as to who could be the Opening Day starter for the Rays, Shane McClanahan would be a good one.

As for Glasnow, he signed an extension with the Rays last summer and after earning $5.35M this season, his salary will increase to $25M in 2024 and he won’t see free agency until the 2024-25 offseason.

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