Chirinos’ season has not gone as planned. The right-hander missed the majority of Summer Camp after testing positive for COVID-19 and was only able to throw to live hitters once during camp. He also battled right shoulder inflammation two weeks ago, which landed him on the IL. Chirinos returned to the mound on Sunday against the Blue Jays, but now he’s sidelined again with another arm issue.
“He threw a light side and it just didn’t feel right, like himself,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We’ll have him checked out. I think he complained of just a lack of power in his pitches. [We] want to get him right. We totally respect and understand the unique buildup that a lot of these guys have had, and he’s right at the top of that list. Hopefully, some time off will help that.”
This is the third time in the last two years that Chirinos will spend time on the injured list. It’s still unknown how severe Chirinos’ injury is and how much time he will miss. One thing that is clear, however, is that the Rays’ starting pitching depth will continue to be tested this season. The Rays already lost Brendan McKay for the season, as the left-hander will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.
In his absence, the Rays will continue to lean on Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarbrough as the primary starters. Charlie Morton, who is also on the 10-day injured list, could also help if he’s able to return to the mound this weekend against the Blue Jays.
Trevor Richards will also be another player Tampa Bay could rely on in Chirinos’ absence. Richards has a 5.93 ERA in four appearances (one start) this season. Anthony Banda could also provide length, if needed.
Slegers has made two appearances this year, allowing five runs over three innings. In his last outing, Slegers tossed a scoreless eighth inning against the Blue Jays and recorded his first save of the season.