UPDATE: On Friday morning, the Rays announced that Brent Honeywell has been diagnosed with a torn UCL and will require Tommy John surgery. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the team said the surgery was recommended, but they did not say whether he would be seeking a second opinion before having it or if the surgery has been scheduled.
ORIGINAL STORY: The whirlwind spring training for the Tampa Bay Rays took another turn on Thursday, with top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell apparently injuring his throwing arm. The eyewitness account:
Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Honeywell has a forearm strain and will be further evaluated.
As we die-hard baseball fans know, "forearm strain" is often the initial reported issue when a player has torn his UCL, which leads to Tommy John surgery. It's important to note that this doesn't mean it's the case every single time. Honeywell could definitely just have a mild muscle strain and fully recover before the season starts. It's just scary to see those words in this day and age.
Honeywell, 22, was 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 172 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings last season between Double-A (two starts) and Triple-A (24 starts). The expectation is that he'd start the season in Triple-A this time around but eventually make his trip to the big-league club. Most major outlets have Honeywell as a top-15 prospect in baseball entering the season and the Rays' top pitching prospect.
Earlier this spring, Chris Archer.with established Rays staff ace
What is this— Brent Honeywell (@brent_honeywell) February 20, 2018
So, yes, it's been quite the spring in Rays camp and it's just over a week old.
Hopefully Honeywell isn't seriously injured. He's an incredible talent and seeing young players go down is always bad for business.