Rays pitcher Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will undergo Tommy John surgery, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. He joins Brent Honeywell as promising Rays pitchers to go under the knife already this spring.
De Leon, 25, has battled injuries recently. He missed most of the 2017 campaign with tendinitis in his right elbow as well as a flexor strain. The Rays acquired De Leon from the Dodgers in January 2017 in exchange for Logan Forsythe.
Drafted in 2013, De Leon has only logged 19 2/3 innings in the majors to date, yielding 20 runs (15 earned) on 23 hits and 10 walks with 17 strikeouts.
With De Leon and Honeywell out of the picture, the Rays may need to add starting pitching depth via free agency. As of right now, the club plans to go with a four-man rotation through April. Matt Andriese would appear to be the favorite to be added to the rotation when it expands in May. Manager Kevin Cash did suggest, as Topkin reports, that the four-man rotation could be a season-long endeavor.