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Tyler Glasnow back on Tropicana Field mound, but 2022 return remains a question

Notes | With his recovery from Tommy John surgery going well, the right-hander says he has to be totally sure about coming back this season.
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws live batting practice ahead of Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field.
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws live batting practice ahead of Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Aug. 23, 2022|Updated Aug. 24, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — Tyler Glasnow was back on the Tropicana Field mound throwing to hitters Tuesday afternoon.

It was just a 21-pitch live batting practice, the second of at least three as he progresses through his rehab from August 2021 Tommy John surgery, and the batters were low-level minor leaguers Daury Del Rosario and Pedro Martinez.

But he felt and looked good (topping out at 97 mph), and the positive reviews of his outing further fueled the discussion about whether he will return to the Rays in September or wait until next year.

Glasnow said “it was nice to be on the game mound” and, with teammates rooting him on from the dugout (as well as front office executives and gathered media gathered), he “weirdly had, like, excitement adrenaline.”

More importantly, he said he was pleased with how it went.

“(The ball) came out well, (velocity) was good, spin was good. Strike-throwing was good, especially with my slider,” Glasnow said. “I’ve got some things I know I need to kind of go out and fix next time. But I guess as far as results, and how I was expecting to feel, it’s really good.”

Manager Kevin Cash was pleased with what he saw.

“He looked certainly healthy,” Cash said. “Just glad to see that the ball is coming out (and) looked just like before the injury, so encouraged with that. He’s got a ways to go.

“So I, myself, as much as anybody, probably have to temper the expectation and the excitement around it, but I’m glad that he’s throwing live BPs. Another one or two from there, and then see if we started introducing him to hitters in (a rehab) game.”

Glasnow reiterated Tuesday what he said previously, that a decision on whether he returns this season, assuming all goes well, will be based on how he feels he is recovering as he further taxes himself, and the impact on his long-term health.

“If I don’t feel really, really good, then I don’t think I’m going to try and come back and push it,” he said. “I have to have confidence. I just don’t want that little voice in the back of my head being like, ‘I don’t know,’ because if I go out there I’m not going to not try to compete. So I have to really kind of focus on that.”

Chargois activated, McKay optioned

Rays relief pitcher JT Chargois pitches in the eighth inning against the Angels.
Rays relief pitcher JT Chargois pitches in the eighth inning against the Angels. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
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Reliever JT Chargois was activated off the 60-day injured list and rejoined the bullpen, working an impressive 1-2-3 eighth inning. It was his first Rays action since the April 8 opener, as he was sidelined initially with left oblique tightness, then a full strain.

“That was really encouraging,” Cash said.

Chargois said it had “been a long road” as he had to relearn his mechanics after developing some bad habits. “But (I’m) slowly figuring it out,” he said. “I think all the pieces are starting to come together.”

The Rays also activated lefty Brendan McKay and optioned him to Triple-A Durham, where he will continue to try to work his way back from a series of injuries and issues, the latest being thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. McKay, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2017 draft, has not pitched in the majors since 2019.

To make room on the 40-man roster, pitchers Kevin Herget and Tommy Romero were designated for assignment. Herget, the 31-year-old career minor-leaguer called up Friday, did not get to pitch during his four days on the roster as all the games were tight. “That stunk,” Cash said.

Also, Wander Franco took swings off flipped balls in the batting cage, as well as ground balls on the field, and had what Cash called “a good day,” but still has no set date to resume his rehab assignment.

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