The Tampa Bay Rays may be getting a key reinforcement sooner than expected.
Rays ace Tyler Glasnow has reportedly been throwing up to 99 mph during recent bullpen sessions after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm a year ago. The operation typically involves a 12-18 month rehabilitation process.
The progress has been "pretty remarkable," Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. When asked about Glasnow's chances of returning before the conclusion of the 2022 season, Snyder said "not zero."
It's unclear whether Glasnow would return in his typical role as a starter or join the bullpen down the stretch before reentering the rotation in 2023.
The 28-year-old was blooming into an ace last year, authoring a 2.66 ERA and 2.77 FIP over 14 starts before suffering his injury.
A former fifth-round pick and top pitching prospect, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Glasnow to the Rays in a blockbuster involving Chris Archer.
Tampa Bay is battling adversity this year after cruising toward the postseason the past three campaigns with a pair of division titles. Spanning from 2019-21, only the Los Angeles Dodgers won more regular season games than the Rays.
However, the club is perilously close to falling out of contention this season. Tampa Bay currently occupies the final AL wild-card spot in the expanded playoff format and is three games back of the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.
While adding Glasnow will certainly help, run prevention hasn't been the Rays' main concern. The team ranks 11th in the Junior Circuit in total runs scored, ahead of only the hapless Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, and Detroit Tigers.