The Tampa Bay Rays Have Some Big Returns Looming

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Rays seemingly haven't had much luck in health department this year, putting a plethora of players on the injured list throughout the season. There's good news on the horizon, however, as some key players could be set to return to the team for a heated playoff run down the stretch. The Rays have already been fortunate with Brandon Lowe back in the lineup after a brief IL stint, as well as Yonny Chirinos joining the bullpen; now back in game action since injuries that date back to 2020. In the coming weeks, the Rays are hoping to add even more elite talent to this already-surging team.

Star shortstop Wander Franco has been working his way back from hamate bone surgery back in July and has been rehabbing with the Durham Bulls. This is a great sign to see after initial soreness a couple weeks ago when trying to rehab. He looks fantastic at the plate too, collecting six hits in the three games he's played for Durham in September. His pure bat-to-ball skills and hand-eye coordination haven't withered, and he absolutely looks like he's playing close to, if not, one-hundred percent. Obviously, having the future of the franchise is crucial for the Rays down the stretch because he not only provides the every day stability at the shortstop position, but his switch hitting presence in the lineup is something that can keep this offense hot. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Wander should be reinstated for this weekend's series against the Yankees in the Bronx.

If you're hyped up about Wander, you might be even happier to hear that Tyler Glasnow pitched in his first competitive game for Durham in over a year. Tommy John Surgery derailed him late last season, but a recovery beyond anyone's wildest beliefs have allowed Glasnow to get to this point. He fired one inning last night, giving up a walk but striking out two in a scoreless frame. He touched 98 MPH in game action, and there's a lot to be excited about considering the prospect of him joining the Rays' staff deep in the playoff race. Though he'll likely have several more rehab games to progress through, the power and depth he could provide to either the rotation or the bullpen may prove to be game-changing.

The Rays also have to be happy with the recent progress of their ace Shane McClanahan as well. He was put on the 15-day IL a week ago with a left shoulder impingement, a tough blow for the young man who's been having a phenomenal season. He's been on a throwing program recently though, and manager Kevin Cash has expressed optimism regarding his ability to rejoin the rotation likely at the end of his 15-day absence.

Next. Tyler Glasnow Inks New Extension!. dark

With two powerful arms and a star in the making set to be back with the Rays soon, there's going to be a lot to look forward to. Tampa Bay has already been on an incredible run as of late, going 20-5 in their last 25 games. If this is already what the team has been playing like without three of its biggest stars, there's no telling what to expect in October.