Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow has been on the shelf since June 14, when elbow discomfort forced him to leave a start against the White Sox. The team later announced that Glasnow had inflammation in his throwing elbow, and soon thereafter he was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL and flexor tendon. Glasnow had been rehabbing in the hopes of avoiding surgery, but according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Glasnow is likely facing Tommy John surgery in the near future:
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery next week, sources tell ESPN. While there remains a small chance doctors will see a path toward him rehabbing his partially torn UCL, the expectation is that Glasnow needs an elbow procedure.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2021
As Passan tweets in a follow-up, the Rays are hoping that Glasnow will be able to pitch again in 2022, but it's possible that he misses all of next season. While the basis for such a claim is questionable, Glasnow previously blamed his elbow issues on MLB's crackdown on the use of grip-enhancing substances by pitchers.
Regardless of what timetable emerges, this is a serious blow to the Rays, who are a half-game out of first place in the tough AL East. Glasnow, who turns 28 in August, has a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts this season with 123 strikeouts in 88 innings. The stuff and velocity are elite, and this season Glasnow showed strong signs of putting it all together and reaching his peak. Since being acquired from the Pirates in late July of 2017, Glasnow has put up a 3.10 ERA and 4.32 K/BB ratio in 48 starts for Tampa Bay. He'll be eligible for free agency following the 2023 season.