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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays reliever Colin Poche has been diagnosed with a torn ulncar collateral ligament (UCL) and has been recommended to undergo Tommy John surgery. Whether he elects surgery or rehab, Poche’s 2020 season is over. If Poche goes under the knife, he will miss most if not all of the 2021 season as well.
Poche, 26, posted an unimpressive 4.70 ERA over 51 2/3 innings of relief last season. However, he struck out 72 batters against only 19 walks. The lefty is also an extreme fly ball pitcher. Among qualified relievers, his 62.4% fly ball rate was the highest in the majors. Poche also ranked 20th of 158 qualified relievers in pop-up rate at 16.2%. This made him a common breakout candidate for the 2020 season.
Poche was in the middle of the Rays‘ bullpen depth chart with Nick Anderson likely to get the bulk of the save chances. Diego Castillo and José Alvarado will also see some save opportunities as the situations call. The Rays will also have Chaz Roe, Oliver Drake, Pete Fairbanks, Andrew Kittredge, Aaron Loup, John Curtiss, and Ryan Thompson working out of the ‘pen in various roles.