Drew Rasmussen has been lights out for the Tampa Bay Rays during their strong start to the season. However, the Rays are now poised to continue their hot streak without Rasmussen.
Tampa Bay has placed Rasmussen on the 60-day injured list with a flexor strain in his elbow, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Rasmussen is looking to avoid surgery, but will be on the shelf regardless for the foreseeable future.
Rasmussen led the Rays to an 8-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out seven.
However, the day after, Rasmussen has now been forced to the injured list. The fact Tampa Bay immediately put him on the 60-day IL is telling news. The RHP's elbow injury stops Rasmussen's strong season in the tracks and puts the Rays down another vital pitcher.
Drew Rasmussen had appeared in eight games for the Rays this season, pitching to a 4-2 record. He holds a 2.62 ERA and a 47/11 K/BB ratio. Rasmussen is third on the team in ERA among players with 20+ innings pitched. Furthermore, his strikeouts sit behind just Shane McClanahan.
The Rays might be 30-9 on the season, but losing Rasmussen will be a huge blow. His loss takes away one of the more dominant starting pitchers Tampa Bay has. While they have pitching depth to work with, it'll be hard to match what Rasmussen brings.
Now on the 60-day IL, the Rays and Rasmussen will have time to think about his next steps. But it's time spent recovering from an injury rather than helping Tampa Bay win a World Series title.