Rays Place Shane McClanahan, Brandon Lowe On IL

4:05pm: Topkin relay In Cash’s words, he said McClanahan’s MRI confirmed the impact diagnosis, describing it as a “best-case scenario”. McLanahan will receive a cortisone shot and may return after at least a 15-day absence.

1:00pm: Rays announce they have placed starters Sean McLanahan 15 days from left shoulder impingement and infielder injury Brandon Lowe On the 10-day injured list, dating back to Aug. 28, was a right triceps contusion.Infielder/Outfielder Vidal Bruyan and right-handed Calvin Fauci is recalled in the corresponding action.

McLanahan’s move may have been disappointing, but not surprising. He was due to start yesterday but felt his injury popped up when throwing the pregame bullpen and never actually pitched in the game. He and head coach Kevin Cash both expressed cautious optimism after the game that there was no need for a prolonged absence. That may still be vindicated, but it seems the team thinks it will take at least two weeks for him to contribute again. Whether he takes longer remains to be seen.

Even if he missed the least amount of time, it was still a big loss for Tampa. The southpaw has pitched 147 1/3 innings this year with a 2.20 ERA, 32.5% strikeout rate, 5.4% walk rate and 52.3% earth rate. This kind of elite work has put him in the American League Cy Young debate. While the Rays are known for stocking high-quality in-depth work, any team will suffer from the loss of that level of performance.

As for Lowe, it’s been a frustrating stop-and-start season for him, and it’s just the latest setback. He first landed in Illinois in mid-May because of a back discomfort. He ended up missing for about two months due to the disease, returning in mid-July. He was then hit by the field on Friday, when he was diagnosed with an elbow contusion. He has missed the club’s past few games, but it appears the injury is lingering enough that they will keep him out for at least another week. Despite those injuries, he was still able to play for Tampa, hitting .234/.319/.405 in 61 games. This equates to a wRC+ of 114, down from 137 last year, but still 14% above the league average.

With neither Lowy nor McLanahan on the floor, the Rays will have to weather the storm by weakening the rotation and lineup for a while. They currently hold the top spot in the American League as a wild card, although the Mariners are only half a game behind and the Blue Jays are just one game away from the Rays. There’s still more breathing room before the best non-playoff team, with the Orioles and Twins coming back in three games. Still, with what seems like a tight game for the remainder of the schedule, with just five weeks remaining, the Rays are sure to hope for not only a playoff spot, but a home run in the first round by keeping the lead. Advantage wildcard slot. Hopefully Lowe and McClanahan have a little break for them to return and contribute in the upcoming games.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times announced the move ahead of the official announcement (Twitter Link).

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