On May 13th, the Rays announced that an MRI had confirmed what they already feared; Drew Smyly had a torn labrum. While he was getting a second opinion and trying to decide between surgery and rehab, the general assumption was that Smyly would have the operation and be gone until some point in 2016. But according to Marc Topkin, he may be able to return far sooner than was expected.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Without providing details, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rays?src=hash">#Rays</a> Cash says they are "optimistic" about Smyly and "are hearing good things."</p>— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/600770064799965184">May 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Smyly was already moved to the 60-day DL, and wouldn't be able to come back immediately, but it sounds like a 2015 return isn't off the table. When a reporter asked Rays manager Kevin Cash if Smyly would could pitch again this season, he replied "We're hearing good things."
Topkin also notes that if the Rays are adhering to a general "rest and rehab program", that would likely set Smyly up to return at some point in August. While it will ultimately hinge on the health of his shoulder, the Rays may choose to hold him out for the entire season should they be out of the playoff race by that time. They're currently 21-18, but have been hit incredibly hard by injuries this season.
Smyly pitched just 16.2 innings in 2015, but his ERA of 2.70 reflects what the Rays were hoping from their left-hander. He was a part of the David Price trade, and was expected to help make up on of the league's best rotations.