The most dominant team in baseball has lost another important pitcher.
Tampa Bay Rays keep starter Drew Rasmussen on the 60-day injured list Due to a flexor strain on Friday, the right-handed batsman was sidelined for two months and possibly longer.
Per ESPNRasmussen told reporters that he is hoping to avoid a third Tommy John surgery, which would not only end his season but potentially rule him out for all of 2024. Rasmussen completed the procedures in March 2016 and in August 2017.
He apparently felt fine enough to throw seven shutout innings against the New York Yankees in an 8-2 win on Thursday, but he reportedly said he noticed his velocity was down and one of his pitches in the seventh inning was off. It was a different size. Manager Kevin Cash pulled him on 76 pitches.
He described the issue as a nerve problem, via ESPN:
“Just more nerve sensitivity,” Rasmussen said. “No severe pain. The vein was palpated, and imaging was done as a precaution, and the tension was there.”
Given that the Rays immediately placed him on 60-day IL instead of 15-day IL, they might be a little worried.
The 30-9 Rays still have the best record in baseball for most runs allowed and fewest runs allowed, and Rasmussen has certainly been a part of that. The 27-year-old has a 2.62 ERA, 1.052 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in eight starts.
Losing Rasmussen for an extended amount of time is especially brutal for the Rays considering they were already on IL. Jeffrey Springs, who looked to be on his way to a breakout season, was out for the year after Tommy John surgery, and closer Pete Fairbanks was still sidelined with the always-ominous forearm inflammation. Tyler Glasnow did not pitch an inning after starting the season on the IL due to oblique soreness.