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Shane McClanahan (Tommy John), Manuel Margot, and Kevin Kelly injured

It gets worse!

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of the Rays 2023 season continues to be the absolute worst, most notably with Shane McClanahan — the two time All-Star and Rays ace — needs a second Tommy John surgery and will be out through 2024.

As reported by Marc Topkin in the Tampa Bay Times:

He visited with and/or consulted with three doctors over the last two weeks and had options for less severe procedures, such as loose body removal or flexor repair. He met Tuesday with another specialist, Dr. Keith Meister, and opted for the complete ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, scheduled for Monday in Texas.

“It sucks,” manager Kevin Cash said.

Sure does!

Additionally, Manuel Margot has loose bodies in the elbow that will sideline him a month, and Kevin Kelly has an ankle injury slowing him down.

As a result, the 2023 Rays are a shell of their Opening Day roster. Just take a look:

Catchers (2): Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejía

Infielders (5): Yandy Díaz, Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Isaac Paredes, Taylor Walls

Outfielders (5): Randy Arozarena, Josh Lowe, Manuel Margot, Luke Raley, Jose Siri

Designated Hitter (1): Harold Ramírez

Starting Pitchers (5): Shane McClanahan, Zach Eflin, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Josh Fleming

Relief Pitchers (8): Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Garrett Cleavinger, Pete Fairbanks, Calvin Faucher, Kevin Kelly, Colin Poche, Ryan Thompson

The Rays have added Tyler Glasnow and Shawn Armstrong to the 26-man roster from the Opening Day injured list and should add Andrew Kittredge shortly as well. Glasnow is nursing a back injury and previously had an oblique muscle strain, and the Rays have dealt with serious mid-season injuries to Yandy Diaz (lower body), Brandon Lowe (back), Zach Eflin (back/Knee), and Luke Raley (but he’s a beast and refuses to hit the IL).

Also, not all of the strike throughs are injuries. Beeks and Fleming were demoted, Thompson was released (today), and Franco is on the restricted list.

It’s a testament to the Rays depth that it’s not a full tailspin right now.

Durham has supplied the Rays with a starting shortstop (Osleivis Basabe) and solid bench players (Pinto, Mead, Aranda). The pitching depth has been bolstered throughout the year by additions (Stephenson, Diekman, Erasmo Ramirez), and — of course — the Durham shuttle is on regular supply with Jacob Lopez and Hector Perez (who was also up in April and then outrighted off the 40-man but retained) the most recent additions.

Just keeping track of who is on the roster right now is exhausting enough to distract you from the fact that Taj Bradley is probably going to have to be the next man up as the Rays look to replace Shane McClanahan’s production here shortly.

Serious question here: Can the Rays survive?