Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was among the frontrunners for this year’s AL Cy Young award when he felt “a little tug” in his right elbow during his start against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Now, his season has to be put on hold after an MRI revealed a partially torn UCL and flexor strain, the right-hander told reporters Tuesday.
Glasnow plans to rehab the injury rather than undergo Tommy John surgery, giving the MLB-leading Rays hope that their No. 1 starter will be able to return in time for a playoff run. However, Glasnow feels the injury could’ve been avoided had MLB waited until the offseason to begin cracking down on pitchers using foreign substances to better grip the baseball.
“The whole day yesterday, I’m sitting there trying to get a grip on a ball,” Glasnow said. “I’m not trying to blame anyone. I’m not trying to say, ‘Oh, this is all MLB’s fault.’ They got thrown into this situation, too…Whether you want us to use sticky stuff or not is fine. Do it in the offseason, give us a chance to adjust to it.
“But I just threw 80-something, 70-whatever innings and then you just told me I can’t use anything in the middle of the year? I had to change everything I’ve been doing the entire season… I truly believe that’s why I got hurt. Me throwing 100 and being 6’7” is why I got hurt, but that contributed. I’m just frustrated that they don’t understand how hard it is to pitch, one, but to tell us to do something completely different in the middle of a season is insane.”
Glasnow, 27, has a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts this season. He’s been one of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers, racking up 123 on the year to trail only reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. Injuries have plagued him throughout his six-year MLB career, never allowing him to exceed more than 112 innings in a season.