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Rays’ Brent Honeywell said to be in high spirits after latest setback

Pitching coach Kyle Snyder said his “fondest hope” is for the prospect to throw off the mound by season’s end and be ready for 2021.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays prospect Brent Honeywell remains confident and in high spirits despite his latest setback, pitching coach Kyle Snyder said Friday on a Zoom media call.

Honeywell underwent a nerve decompression procedure Wednesday, the third operation on his right elbow since his last game action in September 2017.

“It’s all been positive,” Snyder said. "His reactions, to even the post-surgical stuff, has been really encouraging. Obviously, it’s been frustrating. It’s really difficult for people to understand all that he’s gone through, especially with where he was when he first got hurt (in February 2018).''

Related: Rays Honeywell set back with another surgery

Honeywell, once among the game’s top pitching prospects, was working this spring toward a potential May-June return to game action in the minors. He continued to throw four-five bullpen sessions after camp shut down in mid-March, some of which Snyder saw on video.

But Snyder said in late April Honeywell reported “feeling something unusual in his forearm” that seemed nerve-related. He “didn’t have a ton of strength” in that area, which led to a series of tests and doctor visits, followed by the decision to undergo the latest procedure in hopes of alleviating the issue.

Snyder said Honeywell will be working to regain range of motion, extension and strength, with the hope he can throw off the mound before the end of the season (whenever that is) and be ready to resume pitching in 2021.

Related: Rays expect 15-20 players at Trop for first workout Monday

“I would anticipate that Brent’s going to get a chance to get off the mound and know where he stands and how he feels prior to going into the offseason,'' Snyder said. ”Just given the timing of it, where we are, how we’re looking at this, that would be my fondest hope that he can get off the mound, feel really good and go into an offseason finally feeling 100 percent healthy, ready to go and ready to contribute.

“... I’m hopeful, as much as anything, this will be the last hiccup that he’s going to have to go through. He’s been through a lot, and he’s certainly worked his tail off to get back to where he is.''