The MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays got some bad news on the injury front relating to starter Jeffrey Springs. The veteran exited Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning with what initially seemed to be a nerve issue in his throwing elbow.
Unfortunately, the injury is seemingly much more severe. Tampa Bay announced ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds that Springs has been placed on the injured list with a left elbow flexor strain. Upon further evaluation, the 30-year-old veteran will likely have to undergo Tommy John Surgery. It’s a procedure that would likely sideline him well into the 2024 season. Typically, injuries of this ilk sideline a pitcher from between 12 to 15 months.
“Obviously, he’s going on the IL with an elbow issue. I think in fairness to Jeff, he’s still processing the information that he’s gotten. He met with (Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday). So I think we’re a day or two from him coming up with a decision on what is ideal for him and then a timetable from there.”Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash on Jeffrey Springs injury
Top Rays prospect Taj Bradley has replaced Springs on the active roster and will get his second MLB start against the Reds on Tuesday.
A fifth-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Bradley made his first appearance in the bigs against the Boston Red Sox on April 12. He yielded three runs in five innings while striking out eight en route to getting the win.
As for Springs, this is a major blow for the veteran journeyman. He was coming off a solid 2022 campaign in which the 30-year-old pitcher posted a 2.46 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 33 games (25 starts). Springs was off to a great start to the 2023 season, too.
Jeffrey Springs stats (2023): 2-0 record, 0.56 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 24 Ks in 16 innings
The good news for a Rays team that enters Tuesday’s action with a 14-3 record is that it has depth. Not many teams can call up a top prospect and expect to get immediate production from the bump.