Tampa Bay Rays news: Is it time to worry about Shane McClanahan?

Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Shane McClanahan has been one of the many names on the Rays’ roster that has gained national attention this year. He has for the most part been a dominant arm in a loaded rotation, and has had such good numbers MLB ranked him at the top of their pitcher power rankings.

Despite this, McClanahan’s position at the top may soon be at risk, as he has been sidelined due to recent back tightness. These were bad enough that the Rays decided it would be best to send him to the 15-day injured list, with hopes that he will get the rest needed to come out and compete at the highest level again.

The announcement of the injury follows a bizarre start by McClanahan versus the Mariners, where his command seemed completely off, resulting in four runs in just three innings. This was the second start like this in a row, as he had a similar off day versus the Royals a week prior.

Many who have followed Shane know that he has not quite been himself at points in the season. Even if he has pitched better than anybody else in the entire Major Leagues, he still has not met the lofty expectations set for him. Per FanGraphs, his near 10% walk rate is the highest it has been since he made the jump to the majors, and his groundball rate is at its lowest clip since his initial call-up.

It is to be seen whether the extended break will allow McClanahan to return to the Cy Young caliber form he has shown all season, or whether the issues noted are unrelated to his back. Either way, Rays fans should remain hopeful, as we have seen the damage Shane McClanahan can cause to opposing lineups when he is playing up to his lofty potential.