DETROIT — No one wants to get ahead of things, and there are still important stages for Tyler Glasnow to complete in his rehabilitation from the Tommy John elbow surgery he had just over a year ago.
But as impressive as Glasnow has looked in his bullpen sessions and as good as he said he feels, the Rays say they are at least willing to discuss the possibility of him pitching in meaningful games this season.
“The chance is not zero,” pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. “Let’s say that much.”
Glasnow has been throwing off the mound for more than a month and did so again Saturday at Comerica Park, this time under Snyder’s watchful eye.
The show has been something, Snyder saying Glasnow is “fully healthy,” hitting 98-99 mph, tweaking his breaking balls, looking like he did prior to the Aug. 4, 2021 surgery that also included installation of a brace.
“It’s pretty remarkable just to see where he is,” Snyder said.
Glasnow had a similarly upbeat assessment, saying he felt “awesome” physically and mentally, was pleased with his stuff, and his timing feels “like 2021.”
But Glasnow, 28, would go no further than Snyder, saying only that it is possible he could pitch this season.
That’s because, despite all the work he done to get this point, he still has to throw to hitters (likely starting Aug. 20) and then pitch in minor-league games, seeing how he feels, how he does and how he recovers. Not to mention what his bosses, who don’t want to jeopardize a full return in 2023, think.
“I don’t know,” Glasnow said. “For me, it’s hard to even think about now. ... Obviously, it’s entered my mind. But I can’t give it a real answer until I do all that stuff and see how I recover and everything like that. So, it’s still kind of a ways away.”
Not that it wouldn’t be fun, even returning in a limited role as he did in 2019 in September and the playoffs.
“Yeah, it’d be awesome,” Glasnow said. “I think it sucks, especially when the team is in the playoffs and you can’t contribute. That being said, it’s not something I’m willing to rush into and make a stupid judgment call because my ego wants to get tickled for a week.”
After considering a bullpen day arrangement on Sunday to provide their starters extended rest around off days Monday and Thursday, the Rays opted to keep their rotation in order. That means Drew Rasmussen will start Sunday against the Tigers, and lefties Ryan Yarbrough (possibly behind an opener) and Jeffrey Springs will face the Brewers Tuesday and Wednesday. Snyder said the schedule would provide too much of a disruption, with three of the starters having seven days off between starts. Rasmussen said he was okay not facing his former Milwaukee mates: “You get to really enjoy the off day, which in that city is not a bad thing.”
Infielder Yu Chang pitched the eighth, allowing three hits, including a two-run homer to Jonathan Schoop on a 40 mph pitch. Chang, who said through interpreter Patrick Chu he was trying to throw as slow as possible at first, also threw one 39.7. ... Third baseman Yandy Diaz didn’t play, the third time in nine games he has been off; manager Kevin Cash said the Rays were splitting up rest days. In an 0-for-16 skid, Diaz also cut his hair quite short.
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