Feyereisen, with 0.00 ERA, heads to IL

June 3rd, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays placed right-hander on the 15-day injured list on Friday due to a right shoulder impingement, removing the top high-leverage reliever from a Tampa Bay bullpen that was already without several key arms.

Feyereisen has been one of the best relievers in the Majors this season, carrying a spotless 0.00 ERA through his first 22 outings. Overall, Feyereisen has racked up 25 strikeouts while allowing just one unearned run on seven hits, all singles, and five walks in 24 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old said he’d been pitching through some discomfort for a few weeks, and it finally became too much to handle Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Field.

“As it is right now, we're not overly concerned,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The biggest concern is the contributions that he was making to our bullpen. He's putting together a pretty special season.”

Feyereisen recorded one out to end the eighth inning during the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Rangers, but his velocity and stuff were noticeably diminished during that nine-pitch outing. Cash said it was “fairly telling just watching how the ball was coming out” that Feyereisen probably needed a breather. He did not return in the ninth inning, when Ryan Thompson recorded the save.

“It's early in the season, and hopefully it's nothing too serious,” Feyereisen said before the Rays’ series opener against the White Sox on Friday at Tropicana Field. “It's been pretty minor, and then yesterday was kind of just the breaking point, basically.”

Feyereisen had not received the results of an MRI exam when he discussed his status Friday afternoon. That left some uncertainty regarding the timeline for his potential return to the mound, but he said it felt “very similar” to the shoulder injury that sidelined him from July 21-Aug. 30 last year.

“Been battling through it, hoping it would turn around and just start getting better, but [it's been] just kind of progressively getting a little bit worse,” Feyereisen said. “We've been managing it as best we could do. I've been feeling good when I'm going into games, and yesterday was kind of the first time in the game where I didn't feel my best.”

To take Feyereisen’s spot on the roster, the Rays recalled right-hander Calvin Faucher from Triple-A Durham. The 26-year-old Faucher made his MLB debut at Angel Stadium on May 9, when he allowed five runs on two walks and three hits -- including a Shohei Ohtani grand slam -- in one inning.

It will be more difficult to replace Feyereisen’s consistent production, however, especially as the Rays move forward without many of their top relief arms. Tampa Bay is without its most productive reliever in 2020, Nick Anderson (elbow); its best reliever in ‘21, Andrew Kittredge (back); another key high-leverage arm, Pete Fairbanks (lat); and another expected late-inning arm, JT Chargois (oblique). Additionally, the Rays moved lefty Jeffrey Springs from the bullpen to the rotation last month.

There’s some hope that Kittredge will return relatively soon, as he began a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Friday night. And the Rays have effective late-inning options in their mix-and-match bullpen, with right-hander Jason Adam and lefty Brooks Raley among those likely to work in the highest-leverage spots. But this is yet another test of Tampa Bay’s depth.

“We're getting a little thin down there,” Cash said. “There's some guys that have been healthy that are also really doing some special things for us, so it'll be kind of all hands on deck.”