Glasnow said he experienced “a little tug” in his right elbow after throwing a fastball to Andrew Vaughn, the final hitter he faced in the fourth inning. He threw three more pitches to finish the inning, saying he felt “a pull every time I threw” each of them, then reported that tightness to pitching coach Kyle Snyder and head athletic trainer Joe Benge after returning to the dugout.
Glasnow said he didn’t feel “crazy pain” and wondered if he could have thrown another inning considering he managed to finish the fourth, but he didn’t return to the mound.
“It was just probably better for me to not go out and throw again,” Glasnow said after the game.
Glasnow didn’t appear to be in serious pain at any point, although television cameras caught him shaking his right arm at times near the end of his outing at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“I think I got it relatively early. I just was like, ‘I don't want to go back out and chance it,’” Glasnow said. “The velo and everything was still there. But yeah, it just felt not right.”
Glasnow worked a clean fourth inning, striking out Yasmani Grandal and Adam Eaton to begin the frame. At that point, he said, he gripped a new, slick baseball “really hard” and threw a 98.2 mph fastball that Vaughn fouled off. He felt the pull then and on each pitch after that.
Glasnow noted with some frustration that the ball was “extremely slick” on Monday night, which made it difficult to grip, but wasn’t sure if that contributed directly to his injury.
“I think having to grip a ball extremely hard when you throw hard and when your muscle is already extremely tense, and then you have to somehow try to not hit someone in the face -- I don't know,” Glasnow said. “I think whenever I'm trying to hold the ball a lot tighter, it's probably not going to add to a comfortable elbow feeling. Again, I don't know. I just think it'd be nice to make it more consistent.”
Glasnow had thrown only 53 pitches when he walked off the mound flexing his forearm, but as the Rays came to the plate in the top of the fifth inning, reliever Ryan Thompson began warming up in the visitors’ bullpen and Glasnow’s night was over.
“He just felt like there were a couple pitches in there where it just didn't feel right. I applaud Glas for acknowledging that,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Hopefully, we got him out at the right time where everything kind of calms down. We've just got to wait and see now.”
Glasnow has been one of the best pitchers in the AL this season, harnessing his high-octane stuff to put together a 2.66 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 88 innings over 14 starts. The Rays have let him pitch deep into games -- he worked at least seven innings in each of his previous three starts -- but they have also been mindful of his workload.
With several off-days built into the schedule earlier this month, Tampa Bay reshuffled its rotation to give Glasnow, who missed nearly four months in 2019 due to a right forearm strain, six days of rest before his June 8 start and five days of rest before Monday’s outing.
“I'll be praying for him. It’s obviously tough,” teammate Austin Meadows said. “I mean, any injury -- no matter what the timing is -- is always tough. Obviously with him being our ace, I know he's gone through something like this before. But hopefully, it's nothing serious, and I know our staff will do everything they can to get him back out there as soon as possible, because obviously, we need him.”