For the first time since June 14, 2021, Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow took the mound in a major league game Wednesday night. Glasnow had Tommy John surgery last August and fired three innings against the Cleveland Guardians (GameTracker) in his first start back. He allowed a solo home run and threw 50 pitches, his limit on the night.
"Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team," Rays manager Kevin Cash told the Associated Press earlier this week. "Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don't, that's fine, too."
Glasnow touched 99 mph with his fastball and sat around 97 mph, right in line with his velocity prior to surgery last season. He also got four misses on eight swings against his curveball and slider, an encouraging sign for a pitcher who succeeds by missing bats. All things considered, the Rays couldn't have asked for much more in Glasnow's first start back.
"Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as post-day and the week leading into starts and stuff," Glasnow told the AP. "It's good to have an UCL, you know."
The 29-year-old Glasnow is eligible for the postseason roster and will surely factor into Tampa's pitching plans in some capacity, likely as a starter working on a set schedule so soon after elbow reconstruction. He won't be able to get stretched out to 100 pitches before the end of the season, but 3-4 innings of Glasnow are better than 3-4 innings of most pitchers.
Between injuries and the pandemic Glasnow has reached 150 innings just once in his career. He's been excellent since joining the Rays as part of the Chris Archer trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, throwing 261 2/3 innings with a 3.10 ERA. Tampa signed Glasnow to a two-year, $30.35 million contract extension last month, taking him through 2024.
The Rays entered play Wednesday in the second wild-card spot and five games up on a postseason berth in general.