Glasnow, Cash encouraged after exam

June 19th, 2021

Given the severity of ’s injury and his importance to the team, the Rays will look for optimism on his status wherever they can. So the news their ace received on Friday was encouraging.

Glasnow visited Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas on Friday, seeking more information after being diagnosed on Tuesday with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and a flexor strain. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Thursday. Rays manager Kevin Cash said Glasnow will be shut down from throwing for about four weeks, but he was heartened by what he heard.

“His version was that [the tear] was more around the bone, so we're going to do some bone treatment, along with rest, and see if he bounces back a little bit quicker,” Cash said. “That doesn't change his timetable. We're not going to know anything different until that four- to six-[week] mark of when we start playing catch or start doing [plyometric exercises] of some sort. He's got a long way to go. But I was encouraged by it.”

Glasnow said doctors did not initially recommend Tommy John surgery to address his elbow injury. But when the Rays first learned the extent of Glasnow’s injury, the right-hander mentioned that he’d “have to try to rehab to come back in the playoffs,” casting some doubt on whether he’ll be able to pitch again this season, even if he does avoid surgery.

Cash said Friday it’s still too early to tell when the Rays might get Glasnow back.

“I feel better today than I did when he came out of the game in Chicago,” Cash said. “I think that's the best I could give on that.”

Power + speed = Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena had a big night in the Rays’ 6-5 loss to the Mariners on Thursday. He hit his 10th home run of the season, stole his 11th base of the year and literally threw his bat at a ball to get a base hit.

“If you can't reach the ball with the regular swing,” Arozarena said through interpreter Manny Navarro, “you might as well throw the bat at it.”

Arozarena hasn’t had much trouble reaching pitches with his normal swing lately, though. He entered Friday with three homers in his last five games after hitting none in his previous 19 games, and he extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games.

Thursday’s game was an example of how Arozarena can affect the game with both his power and speed. He is the only rookie in the Majors with double-digit homers and steals this season and one of five players overall, joining Fernando Tatis Jr. (22 homers and 13 steals), Shohei Ohtani (19 and 10), Ronald Acuña Jr. (18 and 14) and Trea Turner (10 and 13), going into Friday's games.

Arozarena said he hasn’t set round-number goals of being a 20-homer, 20-steal -- or 30-30 -- player. But he does set one standard for himself that might explain how he’s combined the power he showed last postseason with baserunning prowess that’s surprised even the Rays.

“If I do hit a home run in a game, I try to match it with a stolen base,” Arozarena said. “I do kind of think about it, the one-to-one [ratio]. But at the end of the day, I'd just rather control what I can control.”

Fleming ready for more work

With Glasnow injured and Michael Wacha ramping up his workload in his return to the rotation, the Rays could turn to left-handers Josh Fleming and Shane McClanahan to help fill the innings void. Fleming is set to start Saturday in Seattle, and McClanahan will pitch Sunday’s series finale.

Despite how effective he’s been, Fleming has only pitched at least six complete innings in three of his 11 outings this year. He’s had a few outings cut short despite low pitch counts, including a May 16 start in which he was pulled after five one-hit innings despite only throwing 53 pitches.

“If they need me to go four [innings] like I did last time or if they need me to go eight, I'm open and obviously available,” Fleming said. “My arm's been feeling great. My body's been feeling great. So whatever they need, I'm always up for.”

McClanahan presents a slightly different case. The rookie has yet to pitch more than 5 1/3 innings, but he’s run up higher pitch counts in his last three starts, which has prevented him from pitching deeper into games.

“They're capable of it. And specifically with this series, the way that the Mariners roster is -- they've got a bunch of lefties -- it will benefit us if they can find ways to get a little deeper in ballgames,” Cash said. “They're both very capable and equipped to get deeper in ballgames, and we'd like to see that be available Saturday and Sunday.”