Rays Ace Scratched Minutes Before Start

"Something just didn't feel right. Just couldn't get loose."

That's not what the Tampa Bay Rays wanted to hear from ace Shane McClanahan, after his pregame bullpen warmup. So "out of an abundance of caution", he was scratched from his start, just minutes before the game. 

He felt some tightness in his shoulder; it's being called a shoulder impingement for now. "Just decided to err on the side of caution and pull the plug just in case."

"I'm very pissed. I want that ball every single chance I can get it, added McClanahan, who nevertheless is very confident it will be a very short blip, and he should be back in short order. But an MRI will tell more of the story. 

“We’re actually pretty optimistic about it,” McClanahan continued. “We don’t think it’s anything major, hopefully. And I think we’re going to be all right. … As of right now, I think ‘cautiously optimistic’ is the right word for it.”

The Rays are already without a number of key pitchers, so they can ill afford to lose their ace--and their innings eater--for any length of time. 

McClanahan is 11-5 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.86 ERA, and is a contender for the Cy Young Award in this, his second major league season.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports