Injuries & Moves: Updates on J. Lowe, Eflin, Walls

May 29th, 2024

LATEST NEWS

10-DAY/15-DAY INJURED LIST

INF (left quad strain, No. 1 on Rays' Top 30 Prospects list)
Expected return
: Likely July
Caminero, who has spent the entire season with Triple-A Durham after making his Major League debut last September, was placed on the Minor League seven-day injured list on May 29 after sustaining a Grade 2 left quad strain while running out a ground ball for the final out of the game on May 28. The slugging third baseman is expected to miss four to six weeks, which will further delay his anticipated return to the Majors. (Last updated: May 29)

OF (right oblique strain)
Expected return: Early to mid-June
Lowe resumed all baseball activities on May 28, going through a full workout on the field and a full program in the batting cage. "So far, so good," he reported afterward, adding that the Rays' staff is "very encouraged" with his progress. Lowe said he will now increase his workload and intensity every day. The big tests will be hitting against a high-velocity pitching machine and throwing to bases at game speed, but he said he expects to be ready by the time he's eligible to return.

Lowe was placed on the injured list on May 25, three days after he exited the team's May 22 game against the Red Sox in the second inning due to what the club initially described as “right side tightness." This is the second time this season that Lowe has dealt with a right oblique strain; a Grade 1 right oblique strain in mid-March kept him out of action for nearly two months and prevented him from making his season debut until May 6. Lowe, who had a cortisone injection on May 23, initially said he hopes to miss the minimum amount of time. That would put him in line to return on June 2 in Baltimore or June 4 in Miami. (Last updated: May 28)

RHP (lower back inflammation)
Expected return:
Early to mid June
Eflin was placed on the injured list on May 20, with the assignment made retroactive to May 19, and was playing catch as of May 26. He played catch again on May 28, with plans to throw a bullpen session on May 30. The right-hander reported feeling some discomfort in his back during his final inning on May 18 in Toronto, and he still felt it when the Rays returned home on May 20, which would have made it impossible to make his scheduled start on May 24. Eflin compared this injury to the lower back tightness that forced him to miss two weeks in April 2023 and said he was "not too worried about it, honestly." Manager Kevin Cash said Eflin should be cleared within 2-4 weeks of his placement on the IL, depending on his symptoms. (Last updated: May 28)

LHP (mid-back tightness)
Expected return: Likely June
There's still "uncertainty" around how long it will take to get Poche back to the Rays' bullpen, manager Kevin Cash said on May 18, but he is starting to make some progress. Poche felt good after throwing a 15-pitch bullpen session on May 22, with the goal of facing hitters on May 30. The left-handed Poche went on the injured list on April 26, retroactive to April 24, due to a mid-back issue that prevented him from feeling fully comfortable on the mound. He received an injection in his back, which came before a few days of rest, and then needed a second cortisone-type shot in early May. Considering how much time he's missed, he will need more time to get back into game action. (Last updated: May 22)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

SS (right hip surgery)
Expected return:
Likely June
Walls, who was transferred to the 60-day IL on April 20, began a rehab assignment with the Rookie-level Florida Complex League Rays on May 21. The slick-fielding infielder played five games at that level, going 2-for-17 with one home run, two walks and two strikeouts while playing all his games at shortstop. After playing in the FCL on May 28, Walls is set to join Triple-A Durham on May 29 in Jacksonville, Fla., to continue his rehab assignment.

Walls, whose injured list stint began March 25, underwent surgery on Oct. 27 to repair a labral tear and relieve discomfort from an impingement in his right hip. He said on Feb. 13 he had been dealing with a “noticeable hip impingement” for more than a year, and it reached the point in the playoffs where he could barely swing the bat. (Last updated: May 28)

LHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
Possibly July
Springs' second rehab appearance in a Rookie-level Florida Complex League game ended after just one batter on May 25, as the left-hander was removed in the bottom of the first with left shoulder tightness. Manager Kevin Cash clarified on May 26 it was more of a lat issue, something Springs is feeling under his armpit, and called it a "very precautionary" exit that shouldn't set back his rehab timeline too far.

"Glad that he said he felt something. When you're already injured or coming back from an injury, the last thing you want to do is push through something," Cash said. "We'll probably shut him down for a couple days, get some heavy doses of treatment in, and we're pretty optimistic he'll get a ball back in his hand real soon."

On May 20, Springs gave up a run on three singles while striking out two batters in one inning of work in an FCL game. The plan was for Springs to make one more FCL start, on May 25, before taking his rehab assignment to Triple-A Durham. Springs underwent Tommy John surgery on April 24, 2023, and was placed on the 60-day injured list on March 15. Before the season, president of baseball operations Erik Neander said Springs could be in line to rejoin the Rays' rotation by July or August. If the shoulder tightness is only a temporary setback, he still could return in July. (Last updated: May 26)

RHP (right flexor strain)
Expected return: Late 2024
Rasmussen went on the IL a day after tossing seven scoreless innings on May 11, 2023, in the Rays' 8-2 victory at Yankee Stadium. Manager Kevin Cash announced on July 8 that Rasmussen was slated to undergo a season-ending hybrid internal brace procedure, which he underwent on July 24. Rasmussen, who previously had two Tommy John surgeries, is doing well in his rehab and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on May 21. President of baseball operations Erik Neander said prior to the season that Rasmussen could return to the big league staff in the final months of the year. He was placed on the 60-day IL on Feb. 20. (Last updated: May 20)

RHP (right rotator cuff inflammation)
Expected return:
TBD
Waguespack was moved to the 60-day IL on May 18. He sustained a right shoulder injury during his last outing for Triple-A Durham that wasn't expected to require a significant stint on the shelf, but the Rays gained some flexibility by recalling Waguespack and placing him on the 15-day IL on May 6. Had the reliever been placed on the Minor League IL, that stint would not have counted toward the time he's required to stay inactive after the move to the 60-day IL. So not only did the Rays open a roster spot for left-hander Richard Lovelady -- acquired in a trade on May 18 -- but they also guaranteed Waguespack will be eligible to return after serving the minimum 60 days, on July 5. He was slated for catch play as of May 20. (Last updated: May 20)

LHP (left elbow; Minor League injured list)
Expected return:
Possibly late 2024
McKay, who began the season with Double-A Montgomery, reported left elbow discomfort on May 3 after being promoted to Triple-A Durham and was placed on the Minor League 60-day IL on May 11. He told the club the issue began after his April 30 outing with Montgomery. A former top prospect who has been set back by a series of arm injuries since debuting for the Rays in 2019, McKay was diagnosed with a flexor/pronator strain and an accompanying UCL sprain after having an MRI reviewed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Doctors recommended five to six weeks of rehab, with no throwing, before he builds back up to full activity. The Rays' expectation is that McKay will be back to full baseball activity in three months. (Last updated: May 14)

LHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Likely 2025
McClanahan has ramped up to throwing from 90 feet. Manager Kevin Cash said on May 3 that McClanahan is "progressing well," although he is still in the early stages of his rehab. The left-hander underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 21, his second time having the procedure. He is expected to miss the entire season, although the two-year contract he signed with the Rays in January to avoid arbitration included escalators for his 2025 to account for the possibility of a late-season return in ’24, if his rehab allows for it. He was officially placed on the 60-day IL on Feb. 14, before the Rays' first Spring Training workout. (Last updated: May 3)