Rays’ Burch Smith out for season after Tommy John surgery
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Right-hander Burch Smith, who was expected to play some role with the Tampa Bay Rays’ staff this season, will have Tommy John surgery Tuesday and miss the rest of the year.
Smith, 24, was gained from the San Diego Padres in a three-team, eleven-player trade on Dec. 19, 2014, that also involved the Washington Nationals. He was 0-1 with a 7.59 ERA with seven strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings this spring.
"It’s a blow that we were not really anticipating," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "And we’ll make adjustments. But we were definitely planning on him being a factor for us."
Smith was considered for a rotation spot in the spring with a number of injuries affecting Tampa Bay’s starters. Alex Cobb (right forearm tendinitis), Drew Smyly (left shoulder tendinitis) and Alex Colome (pneumonia) were diagnosed with various ailments during the exhibition season, and Smith was mentioned as a possible temporary option with his 1-3 career record, 6.44 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings in the majors, all accumulated during the 2013 season with San Diego.
Smith was sent to minors camp on March 20.
"He throws strikes, he competes," Cash said. "He had a good change-up. He would have been a nice option to have. So we’ll have to get him healthy again."