Glasnow out 6-8 weeks after feeling 'grab' in left oblique

Rays right-hander frustrated, but after long Tommy John rehab knows 'it really could be worse'

March 1st, 2023

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- To know is to understand that he’ll try to make the best out of any situation, no matter how frustrating. So, when he was asked about the Grade 2 strain of his left oblique that he sustained on Monday, it was no surprise that his response was grounded in reality.

“I think it is,” he said Wednesday, “whatever I make it.”

Glasnow said he felt a “grab” on the last fastball he threw during an abbreviated six-pitch live batting practice session, his second live BP of the spring. The Rays righty said his initial thought was to throw one more pitch to see if the prior had been a fluke, but after discussing with pitching coach Kyle Snyder, they erred on the side of caution.

Tuesday’s MRI revealed the strain, meaning Tampa Bay will be without its No. 2 starter for at least six to eight weeks. Glasnow will be re-evaluated in about 10 days to see how he’s responding to treatment, but true to form, the 29-year-old was already looking ahead.

“It's not ideal. It definitely kind of sucks, but at this point, me being all sad about it doesn't really do anything," Glasnow said. "… It is what it is regardless of my mentality, so I'm not really going to mope or anything.

“I'm just going to use this time to get really strong and hopefully I can address any sort of inefficiencies or use this time to figure out certain things about my body to try and minimize the chances of this happening again.”

Glasnow made just two regular-season appearances for the Rays last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2021. He also made a promising start in the '22 AL Wild Card Series, tossing five scoreless innings against the Guardians. Before landing on the injured list in ‘21, Glasnow was one of baseball's most successful pitchers in its first half, posting a 2.66 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP with 123 strikeouts across 88 innings.

During his Tommy John rehab, Glasnow underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his right ankle on March 18, 2022, a procedure that sidelined him for three weeks. Entering '23, he was expected to join Jeffrey Springs, Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen and the newly acquired Zach Eflin in Tampa Bay's rotation.

"It's next guy up, and hopefully, he'll be back there sooner rather than later," Springs said Tuesday.

Right-handers and are the leaders in the competition to slot into the rotation for what appears to be at least three turns, though and top prospect Taj Bradley are waiting in the wings as well.

"The front office has done a really good job of giving us a lot of options," manager Kevin Cash said. "Look, nobody's going to come in and fill Tyler's shoes -- and they don't have to. I'll bet that Tyler will work really hard to get back as soon as possible. I'd also bet that whoever that fifth option becomes is going to help us."

Glasnow has not started more than 14 games in any of his seven Major League seasons. In five years with the Rays, he has posted a 17-9 record with a 3.05 ERA.

The righty will spend March and at least part of April rehabbing his oblique at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where the Rays will open their regular season on March 30.

“It really could be worse,” Glasnow said. “I think just having gone through the Tommy John process, that whole rehab process was a lot harder, I guess, than what this will be.

“Six to eight weeks isn't a short amount of time, but at least it's not 15 months, so I'm just going to try and go in and do all I can every day and try to get healthy.”