According to a report from Marc Topkin, the Rays' second-best projected starter Drew Smyly is at risk for season-ending shoulder surgery.
Smyly was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis mid-March and missed several starts at the beginning of the Rays' season, but returned in form. His third appearance on the year was a wonderful, two-hit shut out of the Red Sox over seven innings. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean his worries are behind him, as his shoulder soreness is not subsiding after starts.
Closer investigation has shown that Smyly has a tear in his labrum, according to Topkin, though an MRI is scheduled for Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
It's possible rest and recovery could solve the problem, but Topkin seems confident surgery will be required. He correctly predicted that Alex Cobb had a torn elbow ligament after suffering through extended forearm tendinitis, and called it "informed speculation." This time around he is calling it a fact "learned." Quite troubling.
Drew Smyly becomes the third Rays starter to be lost for the season, after staff ace Alex Cobb and newly acquired depth Burch Smith both succumbed to Tommy John surgery from spring injuries.
This third injury likely means the Rays will consider going outside the organization for another starter, as they did in acquiring long-man Erasmo Ramirez, who may spot start through the coming month.
All three starters with an asterisk are rookies, promoted through injury to the Rays rotation. Southpaw Matt Moore is recovering well from his 2014 Tommy John surgery, and has already faced two rounds of live batting practice. He could be ahead of schedule to join the Rays in about four weeks, if all goes well.