So much for Kyle Farnsworth’s elbow injury being a minor one.
Yesterday the Rays placed Farnsworth on the disabled list and today manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he expects to be without the closer for 4-6 weeks.
No word yet on the fill-in closer, but most of the Rays’ beat writers expect Maddon to use a closer-by-committee approach initially, which means Joel Peralta is seemingly the favorite for saves and Fernando Rodney, J.P. Howell, and perhaps even Wade Davis could get into the ninth-inning mix.
Farnsworth saved 25 games with a 2.18 ERA and 51/12 K/BB ratio in 58 innings last season, but has been dealing with elbow problems since September.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.