Tampa Bay Rays: Brent Honeywell has another setback

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Brent Honeywell
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Brent Honeywell /

Once again, Tampa Bay Rays prospect Brent Honeywell has encountered a minor setback in his return from Tommy John surgery.

At some point, the Tampa Bay Rays are hoping to get Brent Honeywell back in action. Sidelined since Spring Training in 2018 due to Tommy John surgery, he was expected to be a part of the Rays rotation as soon as the second half of the 2019 campaign. Instead, his rehab has been one minor setback after another, pushing his return to action further back.

Honeywell suffered another minor setback recently. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, this one will push Honeywell back another week.

While none of these setbacks have really involved an extended period of time, they have all added up. At this point, the hope that Honeywell would return around the All Star break is exceedingly optimistic at best, and is unlikely to happen.

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A consensus top 100 prospect for each of the past four seasons, Honeywell could easily emerge as another top of the rotation caliber starter for Tampa Bay. In his last season on the mound, 2017, he posted a 3.49 ERA and a 1.237 WHiP between AA and AAA, striking out 172 batters with only 35 walks in his 136.2 innings.

Given the layoff, and his attempt to work back to form, Honeywell is not likely to be that same pitcher this season. It is even questionable as to how much of an impact he would be able to make upon the Rays, especially as his long term health is more important than any possible role Honeywell could have this season.

There could still be a role for Honeywell. He could potentially serve as an opener for a time, getting an inning or two as he gets comfortable once again on the mound. Or, he could serve as that long reliever, following the opener as he builds his pitch count and endurance. The Rays certainly have options.

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However, the time for such considerations is still a couple of months, at the minimum, away. First, the Tampa Bay Rays need to get Brent Honeywell back on the mound, and hope these minor setbacks come to an end.