ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays placed Yonny Chirinos on the 10-day injured list with right middle finger inflammation and recalled right-hander Austin Pruitt from Triple-A Durham ahead of Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays.
Chirinos sustained the injury in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 7-2 win over the Marlins as he threw a slider. It’s the first time Chirinos has experienced any sort of finger injury this season, but it will prevent him from throwing for two weeks before he will be re-evaluated.
“I’m sad because you never want to be on the injured list,” Chirinos said. “You always want to be out there playing, but injuries are part of the game. [I have to] just keep a positive mindset and continue to work, so I can return and help the team.”
With Chirinos on the shelf for the foreseeable future, joining Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell on the injured list, the Rays are now without three of their four top starters.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. “He’s going to be out some time. Probably two weeks of no throw. If you shut a guy down for two weeks, you’re looking four-plus weeks.”
Over the next few weeks, the Rays will rely on Charlie Morton, Ryan Yarbrough, Jalen Beeks, Brendan McKay to give them quality starts, with Minor Leaguers Jose De Leon, Anthony Banda and Trevor Richards also expected to make an impact whenever called upon. Bullpen days could also be an option when the matchup presents itself.
“We’ll put our heads together and do what’s best for the guys currently on the team, and how we’re going to be able to pull from the Minor Leagues to pull pitchers and provide innings,” Cash said. “But certainly we’ve got three guys we count on for 180-plus innings and they’re all sitting and watching games. Not ideal. But we’ll be on these guys to pick each other up and find a way to figure it out.”
The Rays are playing 19 consecutive games against teams with a losing record, which could help Tampa Bay deal with all the injuries in its rotation. Despite all the injuries, the team believes it has enough pitching talent to weather the storm.
“We’re nasty,” said Snell, who’s set to miss four weeks after undergoing a procedure to remove loose bodies from his throwing elbow. “We’re swinging it really well right now. It sucks, but Glasnow is going to be coming back soon, Chirinos should be coming back soon and I’ll be back soon, so we’ll be fine. We’re hitting like it doesn’t matter, so let’s keep that going and we’ll be fine.”
Glasnow threw from 60 feet on Monday, throwing for the first time in six weeks. The 25-year-old right-hander is scheduled to throw from the same distance the rest of this week before ramping it up to 90 feet, and then hopefully he will start throwing bullpen sessions the following week.
“I felt really good,” Glasnow said. “The timing is there, too. One thing I was curious about was not picking up a ball for six weeks and how it would feel. It feels exactly the same. My timing feels really consistent, so that was like the biggest thing. It’s only day one, but it feels really, really good timing-wise.”
Glasnow, who has been sidelined with a right forearm strain since May 10, remains confident that he’ll be able to return to the team at some point this season.
“We’ll find out,” he said. “But that’s the plan right now.”
As for Snell, the left-hander is still unsure about what his plan is to begin throwing. Snell says that his range of motion feels good, which is encouraging for him, but that he won’t ramp up activities until the swelling goes down.