Springs grateful for Rays' support during 'emotional week'

July 6th, 2022

BOSTON -- After spending five days on the family medical emergency list, Jeffrey Springs rejoined his team on Tuesday ahead of the Rays' second of three games against the Red Sox. The lefty was scratched from his June 30 start in Toronto after his 5-month-old son was hospitalized in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“He's doing better,” Springs said Tuesday of his son, Stetson. “Definitely been an emotional week, but doing better. So that's all that really matters. He's going to be at the hospital for a few more weeks, but doing better.

“That first week, first four or five days of it, were kind of back and forth. We thought we were good and [then] we go home and [they’re] like, you need to come back. Lot of back and forth. But luckily they figured out what's wrong and he's doing better. So that's kind of all that matters. It'll just take time now, but [he’s] doing good now.”

When Springs took the mound at Fenway Park on Tuesday, he etched “Stet” in the dirt behind him. He went on to pitch four innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out five in a no-decision.

“I feel pretty good,” Springs said. “I mean, I felt like the stuff was pretty good. They're a good hitting team, they put some good at-bats together. Need to do a better job of putting the guys away with two strikes. But overall I think it went OK, so I'll take it.”

Lefty Ryan Yarbrough was called up from Triple-A Durham in Springs’ place on June 30, pitching 5 1/3 innings behind opener Matt Wisler in the Rays’ 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays. After missing his scheduled start, Springs entered Tuesday having last pitched on June 24, when he threw 102 pitches over six innings against the Pirates.

“Yeah, I mean, look, it's a lot,” manager Kevin Cash said on Tuesday. “I'd like to think that he's in a better spot, that his family is. But 10 days down with that on your mind is very challenging. Then you add the Red Sox to it, a good offensive lineup. So [I’m] impressed with the way he threw the ball. I think he finished [82] pitches, that's probably enough with how many days he had down.”

Springs said his son is receiving medication and that he and Springs' wife are now playing the “waiting game” as they wait for his son’s condition to run its course. The left-hander flew home Wednesday morning to join his wife and son at the hospital, where they have been “24/7” to monitor Stetson’s progress.

“The organization top to bottom -- the teammates, the messages and stuff like that -- it definitely means a lot,” Springs said. “So they're a great group. Like I said, from the front office, everybody, they've been very supportive and let me fly in late, I leave tomorrow morning. So it's very nice that they're understanding about it. And like I said, the teammates, they're awesome.”