The ever-trading Rays got some unwelcome news, as one of the game’s top pitching prospects, Brent Honeywell, was diagnosed with torn UCL, which will force him to miss all of the 2018 season. He’ll likely need Tommy John surgery, but no news on the timing of the surgery exists just yet. While the Rays’ starting rotation was the team’s strong point, it loses some much-needed depth.
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Honeywell was the considered the game’s top pitching prospect by multiple outlets, with Baseball America ranking him at #14 and MLB.com ranking him at #12. In a full season at Triple-A last season, Honeywell posted an 11.1 K/9 with a 3.64 ERA in 123.2 innings (he also threw 13 IP in Double-A). He features a loaded arsenal, with a 93 mph fastball and four other above-average pitches, which includes his infamous screwball. He was major-league ready.
With the normal 14-month recovery time for Tommy John surgery, Honeywell can be back in the majors pitching by May 2019 … if he recovers with no complications.
As for the Rays’ rotation, no one really moves up, as the team was likely to go with a four-man rotation of Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Jacob Faria, and Nathan Eovaldi to start the year. Matt Andriese, Jose De Leon, and the newly acquired Anthony Banda are all options for the fifth starter spot once one is needed.