Rays right-hander Charlie Morton will miss at least one start after leaving Sunday’s game in the third inning with inflammation in his right throwing shoulder.
The team placed the 36-year-old on the 10-day injured list Monday, meaning he will miss his next scheduled start against the Blue Jays. Because the Rays are off Aug. 17, Morton could return on Aug. 20 to pitch against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Morton said he felt tightness in the deltoid area of his shoulder in the second inning of the Rays’ 4-3 win over the Yankees. Both Morton and the Rays saw his exit in the third inning as a precautionary move with the hope Morton prevented any further injury that could have sidelined him longer.
“The hope being it just doesn’t become anything that’s an issue here in the coming weeks and months,” Morton said after Sunday’s game. “But I don’t foresee that at all. I’ve had issues, and I’m pretty confident this is very manageable. ...
“I really think it’s just going to be just managing the symptoms and how it feels going forward. It’s just the kind of thing where I don’t really know where that’s going to lead here in the next three, four, five days. It’s just going to be the kind of thing where I’m just going to have to be honest with my symptoms.”
Morton, who was making his fourth start of the season and owns a 5.40 ERA over 16 ⅔ innings, is coming off a career-high 194 ⅔ innings last season, a year in which he set career bests in wins (16), ERA (3.05) and WHIP (1.084), made the All-Star Game and finished third in AL Cy Young voting.
Now, after a nontraditional start to the season — a nearly five-month, pandemic-forced shutdown and abbreviated three-week summer camp to prepare for the season — Morton is the second Rays starting pitcher to land on the injured list in the season’s first three weeks. Right-hander Yonny Chirnos, who missed 11 days of summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19, is on the list with a triceps injury. He is eligible to return Thursday.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.