Apr 24, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Smyly (33) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Smyly also began the season on the DL and finds himself there once again after his shoulder problems continued. His three starts this season appeared to go well, but after concerns about his velocity in his third start raised some eyebrows, he was checked out and found out to have a small tear in his labrum. Instead of opting for surgery, Smyly made the decision to rest and rehab his shoulder in an attempt to pitch in around eight weeks for the Rays.
If Smyly’s recovery is successful, then the Rays will be able to add another potential top-of-the-rotation starter back into their starting five for the rest of 2015 and beyond. Smyly has shown the potential for a bright future with the Rays after being acquired in the David Price trade, but the possibility of shoulder surgery complicates that significantly. Even if Smyly can return, there would be no guarantee that he would avoid a procedure altogether.
Shoulder surgery is much more serious than Tommy John and the Rays won’t let Smyly undergo it until they have no other choice. If he goes under the knife, there would be major uncertainty both in terms of when Smyly would be ready to pitch again and whether his stuff would be the same when he came back. The Rays do have Smyly under team control through 2018, but any advantage that would give them relative to their situation with Cobb is negated by the severity of shoulder surgery.
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