Midseason Waiting Game On Whitley

February 23rd, 2016

WhitleyRaysTommy John surgeries have swept through baseball, forcing clubs to scramble and whisper the Rosary.

The Rays know how tricky/unfortunate this dreaded operation can be. They saw left-hander Matt Moore (2014) and right-hander Alex Cobb (2015) go under the knife. Both were forced to deal with huge delays and frustrating detours in their respective careers. Cobb might finally throw from the mound in two weeks.

New Rays right-hander Chase Whitley, claimed off waivers from the Yankees in November, arrives facing a similar plight. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May, meaning he might be shelved until August.

Until then, Whitley will remain a question wrapped in gauze. He posted a so-so 5-5 record with a 5.02 ERA and 76 strikeouts in New York throughout the past two seasons. Sixteen of his 28 appearances in pinstripes were starts, which means he’s versatile when healthy. He’s good against righties, miserable versus lefties.

Joe is sure it’s way too early to make a read on Whitley. For a pitcher, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery is like learning to walk again — a slow, methodical recovery  process is required. A few prayers along the way don’t hurt either.

The good news for Whitley – and the Rays – is that he’s only 26 years old. There’s time to rebuild his career.


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