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Glasnow: 'Good chance' of return this season

Talented righty was having career year before elbow injury; Alvarado happy to be back; McKay may hit
@juanctoribio
June 30, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tyler Glasnow feels confident that he’ll return to the mound for the Rays in 2019. Glasnow, who has been sidelined since May 11 with a right forearm strain, suffered a setback during a throwing session while the team was in Oakland. The right-hander will be shut down

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tyler Glasnow feels confident that he’ll return to the mound for the Rays in 2019.

Glasnow, who has been sidelined since May 11 with a right forearm strain, suffered a setback during a throwing session while the team was in Oakland. The right-hander will be shut down for about two more weeks before undergoing more tests. But despite the setback, Glasnow believes he’ll pitch again this season.

“Hopefully, for sure,” Glasnow said. “We’ve had discussions about it, but I would obviously want to. I think there’s a good chance.”

It’ll be at least another month before that would happen. Before the injury, Glasnow was 6-1 and posted a 1.86 ERA, performing like one of the best pitchers in baseball. With Brendan McKay delivering with a stellar debut on Saturday, the Rays could benefit from having Glasnow back and joining a potential rotation of Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos and McKay.

“It’s progressing really well,” Glasnow said. “Looking at it, everything like the [ulnar collateral ligament] and everything looks really good, so there are no red flags or anything, just minor stuff.”

Alvarado meets with teammates

After being away from the team for 26 days, José Alvarado said he needed to have a talk with his teammates, especially the pitching staff. Over the last two days, Alvarado has had a chance to talk to the pitchers on the staff and some of the position players, explaining why he had to go back to Venezuela to attend to a family issue regarding his family’s health.

“I talked to all the pitchers about my situation,” Alvarado said. “Some understand, some don’t. But I’m here, everybody is happy because my team needs me. I’m very happy to be here again, together with my team, and nothing changed. Compete and that’s it.”

Alvarado returned to the mound and recorded the last three outs in the Rays’ 5-2 win over the Rangers on Saturday.

“I felt good,” Alvarado said. “I feel normal.”

McKay’s hitting plan

After pitching six scoreless innings in his debut Saturday, McKay showed that he could be a successful pitcher at the big league level. But the two-way player is still trying to figure out a way to prove that he can also be an effective hitter in the Majors.

McKay hit in the batting cages on Sunday and he will get a chance to take batting practice on the field over the next couple of days, in addition to preparing for his next start, on Friday against the Yankees.

“Over the next couple of days, I’ll try and get in some swings and maybe try and simulate some games to get back in the rhythm of playing in a game and seeing somewhat of similar pitching,” McKay said.

It’s still unclear if McKay will get into a game as a hitter. Rays manager Kevin Cash said the team remains open to the idea, but only if the situation makes sense and it doesn’t affect his routine as a pitcher.

“We’re gonna go a lot by what he’s done in the Minor Leagues, but also take his thoughts on what he thinks he needs to do to get ready,” Cash said. “We’ve expressed that I don’t think the at-bats are going to come as consistent for him over the next week or so, but if there’s an opportunity to get him in there where we feel it fits with his workload, then we’ll do that.”

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.