Update: Honeywell has been diagnosed with torn UCL. Surgery and 9-12 months RTP. Watch below our 3D animation on Tommy John surgery:
Tampa Bay Rays’ top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell has been diagnosed with a right forearm strain. The injury occurred during a live batting bullpen session earlier yesterday.
Honeywell is ranked as the 12th best prospect according to MLB.com coming into the 2018 calendar year. Since his debut 2014, Honeywell has quickly developed into an extremely intriguing prospect inside of the Rays’ organization. During the 2017 season, he pitched between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, posting 13 wins with a 3.82 ERA.
According to Fantasy Doctors injury expert Dr. Selene Parekh, the outlook on Honeywell’s return depends on the specificity of the injury.
“Whenever we hear forearm strain, always worried about the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) or the flexor Mass,” said Parekh. “[It] can take 2 to 4 weeks to return to play but sometimes requires steroid, PRP or stem cell injections…In those cases, it could take longer to return to play”
The major concern surrounding Honeywell’s injury is the UCL. As Parekh explained, “If the UCL is damaged itself, [it] could require Tommy John surgery…an MRI will be needed to understand this better. ”
These are two completely different scenarios at either end of the spectrum. Either Honeywell could be out for just up to a month or there’s also the possibility of Tommy John surgery. If it’s the second scenario, that would knock Honeywell out for at least a year, possibly even longer. That is worrisome news for the Rays and general manager Kevin Cash.
After having a top-ten team ERA in 2017 (3.97), the Rays were looking to improve on that this season, eventually adding Honeywell to the starting rotation. In an AL East that has the power of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado and now J.D. Martinez, pitching depth is of the utmost importance. Honeywell’s extended absence could make the push for a postseason spot that more difficult.
If there’s any silver lining, it’s that Honeywell is just 22-years old. The Rays will be holding their breath, hoping for positive updates coming from an MRI in the upcoming days.