Everything has been smooth sailing for the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2023 season.
They have an immaculate 10-0 record and a +58 run differential.
They just encountered their first obstacle of the year.
No, it’s not a loss: at least not yet.
They will lose valuable offseason acquisition Zach Eflin for at least two weeks due to injury.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Eflin will be placed on the 15-day injured list due to lower back tightness.
It doesn’t appear to be a major issue, but he will be sidelined to make sure he is as close to full health as possible.
His roster (and rotation) spot is going to be taken by an exciting rookie.
#Rays RH Zach Eflin headed to 15-day IL with low back tightness. Prospect Taj Bradley will come up to make Wednesday start vs. #RedSox
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2023
It’s the first test for the Rays’ pitching depth.
They have coped well with Tyler Glasnow‘s absence so far, but having two rotation members injured will require another starter, in this case Bradley, to step up.
He is one of the Rays’ top pitching prospects and one of the best in the game.
Bradley is coming from the Triple-A Durham affiliate to take the ball against the Boston Red Sox in Eflin’s place on Wednesday.
He has a 5.14 ERA in two outings and seven frames with Durham.
Last year he had a 2.57 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 141 strikeouts over 133.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Bradley is the real deal and will get a chance to show that statement is true.
It’s unclear if this is just a short audition while Eflin returns or if he will be given an opportunity to stick.
In any case, he has been presented with a golden chance.NEXT: The Rays Lead Just About Every Possible Category Through 10 Games