Tyler Glasnow scratched from Sunday Rays start due to back spasms

Notes | Veteran right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, recently called up from Triple A, stepped in to face the Tigers as this road trip wraps up.
Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was supposed to start today against the Tigers; instead, Erasmo Ramirez started in his place.
Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was supposed to start today against the Tigers; instead, Erasmo Ramirez started in his place. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Aug. 6, 2023|Updated Aug. 6, 2023

DETROIT — Coming off a dominant July for which he was voted the best pitcher in the American League, Tyler Glasnow was looking to keep his roll going.

But his back locked up on him Saturday afternoon, forcing the Rays to scratch him from his scheduled Sunday start and adding more uncertainty to their starting pitching plans. Veteran Erasmo Ramirez, a veteran bullpen addition, started Sunday.

Manager Kevin Cash said before Sunday’s game that they are not concerned about an extended absence as Glasnow responded well to treatment, and that there was “a good chance” Glasnow could just be pushed back to start Wednesday or Thursday against the Cardinals.

But Cash also acknowledged that Glasnow hasn’t seen a doctor yet — which he is likely to do Monday — and there could be additional factors in the decision.

“I personally don’t think, as we speak right now, it’s that big of a deal,” Cash said. “I think we can maybe get lucky and push him back and get some aggressive treatment … and maybe insert him as soon as the St. Louis series. I don’t know that for sure. But that’s kind of where our head is right now.”

Glasnow was in the clubhouse Saturday when he got up from the chair at his locker and felt his back grab. He felt better after getting treatment during Saturday’s game, but was sore again Sunday.

“He felt a lot better after treatment,” Cash said. “Certainly he’s going to be a little cranky (Sunday) after waking up and sleeping. So we’ll do that treatment again.”

The Rays have been dealing with a series of pitcher injuries, most recently placing two-time All-Star Shane McClanahan on the injured list due to forearm tightness with no sense yet of when, or if, he will return this season. Jeffery Springs and Drew Rasmussen underwent season-ending elbow surgeries.

With Monday off, the Rays’ current plan is for Zach Eflin to start Tuesday then — pending Glasnow’s status — run a bullpen day Wednesday (in McClanahan’s place) and start Zack Littell on Thursday. Newcomer Aaron Civale, who made his Rays debut on Saturday, is lined up to face his former Guardians mates on Friday. Glasnow’s slot in the rotation would come up again Saturday.

The Rays added some depth to the bullpen Sunday by calling up lefty Jalen Beeks. Infielder/outfielder Vidal Brujan, whose time seemed limited with Friday’s promotion of Curtis Mead, was sent down.

Kudos for Cabrera

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera runs to first for a single during Saturday's game against the Rays.
Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera runs to first for a single during Saturday's game against the Rays. [ CARLOS OSORIO | AP ]

The Rays got their last look this weekend at retiring Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, who — then with the Marlins — started his career against them with a bang, a walkoff homer on May 20, 2003.

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“Respect, appreciation to what he’s meant to the game,” Cash said. “You look at those numbers up in left field with the hits (3,140) and the home runs (508). You just marvel at people that do that and how they get there. For a long time, he was right at the tops as being arguably the best right-handed hitter in our game.”


Shortstop Wander Franco had a huge trip, hitting .389 (14-for-36) with four homers. ... Reliever Shawn Armstrong gave up a run, ending his 16-inning scoreless streak that matched the longest active in the majors. ... Reliever Cole Sulser, who was claimed off waivers from Arizona on Saturday, took the final open spot on the 40-man roster and was assigned to Triple-A Durham. … The Rays have extended the rehab assignment for reliever Andrew Kittredge, who is 0-1, 7.88 in eight games for Durham in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. “It seems like everything’s going in the right direction but there’s no timetable that he’s going to be back on this day,” Cash said. … Several contingents of team personnel attended the WWE SummerSlam wrestling event Saturday night at Ford Field, including one led by security director Jim Previtera (including acupuncturist/athletic trainer Shin Fukuda, massage therapists Ray Allen and Homare Watanabe, and major-league operations coordinator Bobby Kinne) with VIP access that included taking home the WWE-branded folding chair they sat in.

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