Yet Another Tampa Bay Rays Starter Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

It's been a disastrous season for the health of Tampa Bay Rays' starting pitchers, which makes their standing as the top team in the American League even more remarkable. 

We now learn that they've lost yet another piece of the rotation for the rest of 2023, with starter Drew Rasmussen set to undergo a season-ending internal brace surgery. 

The 27-year-old has been out since mid-May with a flexor strain, but now will be sidelined until mid-2024. The internal brace surgery will repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, but the good news is that Tommy John surgery will be avoided, which would have knocked him out for all of next season as well. He has already had two TJ surgeries, back when he was in college. 

"(We) just felt like this was probably the best course of action to get him back on the field as quick as possible, and as healthy as possible," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. 

Rasmussen had been off to a tremendous start to the year, posting a 2.62 ERA through eight starts, with a 47:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

High-end starters Jeffrey Springs and top prospect Shane Baz are already out for the season due to Tommy John surgery, while Tyler Glasnow missed the first two months, and now ace and Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan is also on the IL with a back issue.

And yet the Rays are still clinging to first place in the AL East, though their lead has slipped to just two games (zero in the loss column) over the Baltimore Orioles. 

 Photo: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports