Tampa Bay's rotation has lost several starters for the season since spring training started and the club may be without another arm for the rest of the year. The Rays placed Drew Smyly on the disabled list with back stiffness and tightness on Friday, and according to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times, Smyly has also suffered from a tear in his labrum that is expected to require season-ending surgery.
Smyly, 25, was diagnosed with tendinitis and was shut down early last spring. Since being activated from the disabled list for the first time, Smyly has pitched well. He allowed two runs in 4.2 innings in his first start against the Blue Jays, two runs in six innings against the Yankees, and one run in six innings against the Red Sox.
Topkin adds Smyly said he felt good after making his first two starts since he was activated on April 24 but pitched through discomfort against the Red Sox. Smyly is waiting for an MRI exam on Monday and is waiting for a distinct explanation of the injury.
Although the injury is expected to require surgery, Smyly could attempt to rehab the injury without it. Six of the Rays' top ten pitchers are now on the disabled list, with both Alex Cobb and Burch Smith done for the season. If Smyly opted to undergo season-ending surgery, he would be the third Rays starter to be out for the year.
Jake Odorizzi is starting in Smyly's spot after missing his scheduled start with the flu and was replaced by Matt Andriese on Saturday. Erasmo Ramirez is a potential candidate to replace Smyly in the rotation if he is out for the remainder of the season.
Smyly is a consistent left-handed option who posted a 3.24 ERA and 3.77 FIP in 153.0 innings in 2014.