The Rays pitching team takes another blow when Drew Rasmussen suffers a 60-day IL from a flexor strain

Baseball’s most dominant team has lost another key pitcher.

The Tampa Bay Rays Starter placed Drew Rasmussen on the 60-day injured list The right-hander will be sidelined for two months and possibly longer due to a flexor strain on Friday.

Per ESPNRasmussen told reporters that he hoped to avoid a third Tommy John surgery, which would not only end his season but potentially sideline him for all of 2024. Rasmussen underwent the procedures in March 2016 and August 2017.

Apparently he was well enough to throw seven innings against the New York Yankees an 8-2 win Thursday, but he reportedly said he noticed in the seventh inning that his speed had slipped and his pitches had taken a different shape. Manager Kevin Cash pulled him 76 pitches.

He described the problem as a nerve issue via ESPN:

“Just more nerve sensitivity,” Rasmussen said. “No severe pain. The nerve flared up and as a precaution an imaging was done and that’s where the strain occurred.”

Given that the Rays immediately put him on the 60-day IL instead of the 15-day IL, they might be more than a little concerned.

The 30-9 Rays still have the best record in baseball, with most runs scored and fewest runs allowed, and Rasmussen was definitely a part of that. The 27-year-old has a 2.62 ERA, a 1.052 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings in eight starts.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen delivers to the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 25, 2023 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Like many other Rays, Drew Rasmussen has been great this season. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

For the Rays, who already had them in IL, losing Rasmussen for an extended period is particularly brutal. Jeffrey Springs, who appeared to be on course for a breakout season, is, too out for a year after undergoing surgery by Tommy John, and closer Pete Fairbanks is still out due to the ever-threatening forearm infection. Tyler Glasnow hasn’t played an inning since the start of the season in the IL due to oblique pain.

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