The defending AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays have lost another starting pitcher to injury. Righty Luis Patiño exited his start Monday night against the Oakland Athletics (GameTracker) after only 13 pitches with what the team later announced as a left oblique strain. The Rays have not yet revealed the severity of the injury.
Here is the video of Patiño's injury. He simply threw a pitch, then bent over in discomfort. Monday was his season debut:
Patiño missed time with shoulder discomfort in spring training and was limited to two appearances and 3 2/3 innings during Grapefruit League play. The good news is this injury is not to Patiño's shoulder (or another part of his arm). The bad news is even minor oblique injuries can still take several weeks to heal.
The Rays currently have five starting pitchers on the injured list: Shane Baz (elbow surgery), Yonny Chirinos (Tommy John surgery), Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery), Brendan McKay (shoulder) and Ryan Yarbrough (groin). Yarbrough was placed on the injured list prior to Monday's game and is not expected to miss much time. Baz and Chirinos are several weeks away, Glasnow is likely to miss the season, and McKay's timetable is uncertain.
Righty Tommy Romero was called up to replace Yarbrough and will start Tuesday. Tampa could insert lefty Josh Fleming into the rotation to replace Patiño, or they could go with the opener/bullpen game approach they popularized a few years ago.