The left-handed reliever is expected to miss six-to-eight-weeks, although the team is not ruling out a return during the season or playoffs.
McGee missed the first month of the season following December elbow surgery. He felt something in his knee during Tuesday’s game, and was sent home to receive tests from the Rays team doctor, Orthopaedic Surgeon Koco Eaton.
LHP Enny Romero, who was sent down by the Rays on Tuesday, has been recalled from Triple-A Durham.
RHP Brad Boxberger spoke about the loss of McGee and the state of the ‘pen before Thursday night’s game:
It sucks. That’s probably the easiest way to put it. We lost (RHP Kevin) Jepsen (who was trraded to the Twins) earlier, and now we lose McGee. It’s definitely going to be a different look in the bullpen for the rest of the year.
Cash was asked what we should expect out of the bullpen with McGee on the shelf. The Rays skipper said they will use several pitchers to take McGee’s late-inning role, including lefty Xavier Cedenno and righties Steve Geltz, Brandon Gomez and Alex Colome, who nearly threw an immaculate nine pitch inning on Wednesday. According to Topkin, Cash also said McGee’s absence doesn’t automatically make Boxberger the fulltime closer, that there could still be situations where Boxberger pitches in the eighth and one of the others closes the game.
The team will have a better idea after Friday’s surgery of how realistic it would be to think McGee could return before the end of the regular season on October 4.
Jake McGee’s status on the active roster could be jeopardy, as the left handed reliever departed Houston prior to Wednesday night’s contest against the Astros. Tampa Bay Rays’ manager Kevin Cash told the media that McGee felt something on the second to last pitch of his extended 1-2/3 IP outing Tuesday night, although he didn’t inform the training staff until after the game. As of now the extent of the injury is unclear.
We’re hopeful that it’s not something that’s too bad, Cash said.
According to Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times), the team sent McGee back to St. Petersburg in part because he was not going to be available tonight or possibly Thursday anyway after throwing a season-high 33 pitches on Tuesday.
Cash was asked if McGee would rejoin them in Oakland if nothing serious was found in the MRI and subsequent exam Thursday by Koco Eaton (Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Rays), to which he responded that he wasn’t sure, noting the team is off Monday — a suggestion, per Topkin, that McGee might need a few days off.
In McGee’s absence, the team will likely depend upon RHP Steve Geltz, who leads the American League with 58 appearances, and LHP Xavier Cedeno in higher leverage situations. The recently recalled RHP Matt Andriese is also available out of the bullpen, as Enny Romero was optioned back to Triple-A Durham following last night’s game.