Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher To Miss "Months"

A terrible break for the Tampa Bay Rays, who've lost their breakout starting pitcher for, at minimum, two months. The Rays got the bad news Friday night that starter Jeffrey Springs is suffering from a nerve issue in his arm.

Originally calling it ulnar neuritis, the problem involves "more than" just nerve inflammation, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, and if surgery is eventually required, Springs could be out a lot longer than just two months.

It's an awful development for Springs, who followed up a stunning breakthrough last season (2.46 ERA) by emerging this year as one of the top starters in the game. In spring training, he didn't allow a single run in 14 innings, with a 24:2 strikeout to walk ratio. In two regular-season starts, he had a 0.56 ERA start to the season, with a 24:4 K/BB ratio in 16 innings. 

It's another brutal break for the Rays' pitching staff. 2022's top prospect Shane Baz will miss the entire season after Tommy John surgery last year; Tyler Glasnow is out until likely late May after suffering a Grade 2 oblique strain this spring, just when he was ready to return from his own Tommy John surgery; and now Springs' ominous diagnosis. 

After a fairy-tale start to the season, setting a modern major league record with a 13-0 start, the Rays have now lost two straight games, and a red-hot starting pitcher. 

Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports