Just when you thought the Rays were beginning to solidify the starting rotation the best they could with Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow out until September, comes the news today as reported by Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times that Yonny Chirinos will be out about a month with a right middle finger inflammation.
Chirinos left Sunday’s game in the fifth inning of Sunday’s 7-2 win over Miami, and will not throw for at least two weeks at which time he will be re-evaluated.
Chirinos is 9-5 with a 3.62 ERA on the season.
With Snell, Glasnow, and now Chirinos sidelined with injuries, the Rays just have have Charlie Morton as the lone starter who began the season as part of the Rays rotation.
Chirinos was placed on the 10 day disabled list, but according to manager Kevin Cash Chirinos will be out for some time. “It’s unfortunate, He’s going to be out some time. Probably two weeks of no throw. If you shut a guy down for two weeks, you’re looking four-plus weeks.”
That puts the timetable for Chirinos return early to mid September at the earliest. The Rays called up Austin Pruitt to take the spot of Chirinos on the roster. Pruitt is expected to work out of the bullpen.
Charlie Morton and Brendan McKay are the only two starters now for the Rays. Trevor Richards acquired from the trade deadline from Miami and Ryan Yarbrough would seem to be the leading candidates to replace Chirinos in the rotation, But Richards was being used as a reliever in Miami is at Durham working on moving back into a starters role.
With Ryne Stanek now in Miami as part the Richards trade, Diego Castillo has stepped in and filled the opener role on a couple of occasions. The Rays could use Castillo in that role with Jalen Beeks and Ryan Yarbrough as the long guys.
When asked about the starting rotation, Cash said he would have to give it some thought. “I’m not sure. I need some time to process it. We’ll put our heads together and do what’s best for the guys currently on the team and how we’re going to be able to pull from the minor leagues to provide pitches and innings”
There was some good news on the injury front as Tyler Glasnow threw for the first time in six weeks. Glasnow will continue the long toss program this week and if all goes well, the plan is to have him throw some bullpen sessions starting next week.
The Rays remain neck and neck with Oakland in the race for the second wildcard spot, two games behind Cleveland.
The Rays will host Toronto in a three game series beginning tonight at Tropicana Field, and then head west for matchups with Seattle and San Diego.