Gavin Floyd complained of elbow pain last Wednesday, causing the coaching staff to postpone his spring training debut, which was to take place on Sunday. Now word comes that he has in fact re-injured the elbow, and (according to the team's tweet) is out "indefinitely."
The team's medical staff is gathering information possible treatment plans; surgery is very much an option. At the very least I don't think we'll see Floyd til May, and if I were betting, I'd put my money on him missing most (or all) of 2015. If nothing else, Terry Francona says, "It's pretty safe to say he's going to miss significant time."
Floyd was signed this offseason for $4 million guaranteed, so his contract is not a big deal, but this is still a blow to the starting rotation. Floyd was a very good pitcher from 2009 to 2011, and solidly league average in 2012. In his limited action last season he was doing well. Healthy, he seemed like a very good #4 starter.
Danny Salazar and T.J. House had been the leading candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation; it now appears likely that both of them will be a part of that group when the season begins. Terry Francona and his staff could instead decide to give Zach McAllister another turn, because (unlike Salazar and House) he can't be optioned down to the minor leagues, meaning the team either finds a roster spot for him, or puts him on waivers.
Josh Tomlin, Shaun Marcum, and Bruce Chen continue to look like depth that can be kept in Triple-A, but they're now each one step closer to the rotation. I like them as depth, but not as guys the team is actively depending on.