Drew Rasmussen Placed on the IL

Drew Rasmussen
(Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Rays have placed right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen on the IL with a flexor strain. He is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break, and could be out longer depending on the type of strain. This was first reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Devastating Loss

Obviously, the loss is devastating for this Rays team and Rasmussen. He was 4–2 with a 2.62 ERA in eight starts this season before being shut down. Right now, he is hopeful he can avoid a third Tommy John surgery.

He is now the third Rays pitcher to go down with a severe injury. Reliever Garrett Cleavinger is likely done for the season with an ACL injury. Jeffrey Springs is also out for the rest of the season. He will also need Tommy John surgery.

Possible Candidate

The Rays will look at two candidates to fill Rasmussen’s spot in the rotation. Left hander Josh Fleming, who impressed in spring training, is still trying to find consistency. He made his start on Wednesday and pitched well. He pitched five innings and gave up three hits while showing a promising sinker.

Top Prospect

Drew Rasmussen being placed on the IL means the team needs to find a quality starter. They will consider Taj Bradley, their No.1 pitching prospect. He has some big-league involvement. Bradley has started, and won all three games he has been in. He has shown confidence on the mound, and displayed a fastball that has been consistently in 94-96 mph range.

Tyler Glasnow

Tyler Glasnow has been out since spring training with an oblique strain that landed him on the IL. He pitched in a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday, and threw 57 pitches with no reported side effects from the injury. He will most likely have another rehab assignment, but should be back to the Rays within the next couple of weeks and that will certainly help.

Still have Top Starters

Having the best record in baseball means you have quality pitching. Zach Eflin did miss some time with back tightness, but has been back for two weeks. He is 5–1 with a 3.38 ERA and has been excellent through his seven starts.

Shane McClanahan is the ace of the staff, and has been consistent in every start he has made. He is 7–0 with a 2.34 ERA and leads the AL in wins. His fastball consistently stays in the mid to upper 90s, even touching triple digits. His slider is a true swing-and-miss pitch.

Make a Trade

Drew Rasmussen was placed on the IL and depending on the severity of the injury, it is possible the Rays will look outside the organization for rotation depth in the end. They have a deep farm system of both hitters and pitchers, so they might be willing to trade a prospect(s) for a frontline starter.

Before the season started, the Rays were picked to be in the playoffs. After their tremendous start to the season, they want to keep that momentum going to win an AL East title. Having healthy pitchers, especially starters, is something they need to retain that momentum.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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