4:05 p.m.: Topkin relay word from Cash, who says McClanahan’s MRI confirmed the collision diagnosis and described it as a “best case scenario.” McClanahan will receive a cortisone shot and may return after the minimum absence of 15 days.
1:00 pm: The Rays announced they’ve placed starter Shane McClanahan on the 15-day injured by a left shoulder impingement and infielder Brandon Lowe on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Aug. 28, with a right triceps contusion. Infielder/Outfielder Vidal Brujan and right-handed Calvin Faucher are recalled in corresponding moves.
McClanahan’s move may be disappointing, but not surprising. He was supposed to start yesterday, but felt his injury resurface while throwing his pregame bullpen and never actually threw a pitch in the game. He and manager Kevin Cash both expressed cautious optimism after the game and believed that an extended absence would not be necessary. That may still turn out to be true, but it seems the team feels like he needs at least two weeks before he can contribute again. Whether he needs any longer remains to be seen.
Even if he only misses the minimal amount of time, it will still be a significant loss for Tampa. The southpaw has thrown 147 1/3 innings this year with a 2.20 ERA, 32.5% strikeout rate, 5.4% walk rate and 52.3% ground ball rate. That elite production has put him squarely in the American League Cy Young debate. While the Rays are known for crafting high-quality lows, any team would lose that caliber of performance.
As for Lowe, it’s been a frustrating stop-and-start season for him, with this just the latest setback. He first landed at the IL in mid-May due to low back pain. He ended up missing for about two months because of that condition and returned in mid-July. He was then hit by a pitch on Friday and suffered an elbow bruise at that time. He has served out the club’s past games, but it looks like the injury will last so long that they will have him out for at least another week. Despite those injuries, he was still able to produce for Tampa, hitting .234/.319/.405 in 61 games. That equates to a wRC+ of 114, down from last year’s 137, but still 14% above the competition average.
With both Lowe and McClanahan out, the Rays will have to make do with a weakened rotation and lineup for a while. They currently hold the top Wild Card spot in the American League, although the Mariners are only half a game behind and the Blue Jays only one game away from the Rays. There’s a little more breathing room among the top non-playoff teams, with the Orioles and Twins three games back. Nevertheless, it looks set to be an exciting race over the rest of the schedule, with just five weeks to go, with the Rays certainly hoping to not only secure a spot in the playoffs, but also gain home field advantage in the first round. achieve by keeping the top. Wildcard slot. Hopefully a little time off for Lowe and McClanahan will allow them to return and contribute.