MLB Injuries

Dr. Morse’s mid-week MLB injury report

Photographer: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Hitters

Evan Longoria

Longoria has been dealing with some discomfort in his left foot that some reports have called plantar fasciitis. As many may remember, Albert Pujols has been dealing with severe plantar fasciitis for several years and he even required surgery for it. Longoria actually has a history of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, so it is not surprising that he may be dealing with it in his other foot now. Plantar fasciitis is very painful, especially early in the morning and slowly improves as the day goes on. The condition makes walking, especially running, very difficult. There are some good exercises that help with the pain, and sometimes injections, which are equally as painful, which can help alleviate the pain. If the fasciitis becomes too difficult to manage, many athletes will undergo surgery to hopefully permanently correct the issue. It appears that Longoria is feeling better and will try to play in tonight’s game vs. Miami. Keep an eye on his status.

Adrian Gonzalez

AGonz has been dealing with forearm discomfort for the majority of the season. He hasn’t been hitting the same as we have grown accustomed to. Through 90 ABs, he’s homerless, only batting .267 with a .322 SLG, 15:10 K:BB, and only 5 extra-base hits – all doubles. Good for the Dodgers that Cody Bellinger looks like the real deal, and has been very good so far filling in at 1B and in the OF. Gonzalez managed to pinch-hit last night so its unlikely that he will be placed on the DL, maybe just more of a day-to-day injury. If this continues to bother him, the Dodgers may decide to get an MRI of his forearm and elbow to make sure there is no structural damage.

Francisco Cervelli

Cervelli, the catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, has been dealing with a nagging right foot injury since last season. The exact injury is unclear, but it appears that he is not expected to hit the disabled list. I will provide more information when it is available. In the meantime, Elias Diaz and Chris Stewart are filling in for Cervelli.

Logan Forsythe

Forsythe is slated to begin his rehab assignment later this week at High-A in his return from a fractured right big toe. If he manages to play well and avoids re-injury, then expect him to return as early as Friday. Forsythe is an underrated player; if he’s available on the wire, go pick him up. If you are lacking at 2B and his owner is willing to trade him, go make them a decent offer. As long as this injury was able to fully heal, I don’t expect his toe to continue to bother him.

Ryan Braun

Braun left Sunday’s game with tightness in his trapezius muscle, and was able to return last night as a pinch-hitter. It still sounds like this is mild and should only keep him out only a couple of days.

Brandon Crawford

Crawford, who is dealing with a mild groin strain, is expecting to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. If he does get activated, get him in your lineups right away.

Greg Bird

The New York Yankees have been hitting the cover off the ball to start the season; unfortunately for many fantasy owners, Greg Bird has not been one of them. He is struggling to the tune of a .100 BA, with 1 HR, 22 K’s, .200 SLG and only 6 hits in 60 ABs. Bird was placed on the DL yesterday after being diagnosed with a right ankle bone bruise that has continued to nag him. It is unclear how long he has been dealing with this, but it may be the reason for his slow start. He will likely get at least a week or two off, and then require some rehab games to see if the pain returns. Keep an eye on his progress, as he could be a sneaky bat later in the year if he can find his stroke.

Welington Castillo

Castillo, catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, was placed on the 10-day DL yesterday with shoulder tendinitis. He underwent an MRI yesterday of his neck and shoulder after complaining of ‘neck spasms’ and there was no structural damage found. Expect Castillo to be out at least 2-3 weeks, typically he may need some massaging, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers and he may even need a corticosteroid shot to help with the pain and inflammation. In the meantime, Caleb Joseph and Francisco Pena will be covering catcher for the O’s.

Austin Jackson

The speedy OF was placed on the 10-day DL yesterday with a hyperextended left big toe after injuring it on Monday night trying to beat out an infield single. AJax is no longer an every day starting OF, but he is still valuable in DFS and in some really deep leagues. The Indians are hoping that he will be ready for activation in 10 days when he is eligible, and that is a realistic expectation. Shawn Armstrong was called up from AAA to replace his spot.

Pitchers

Cole Hamels
Earlier today Rangers’ co-ace, Cole Hamels, was placed on the DL with a grade 2 strained oblique. He was scratched minutes before his start last night after experiencing tightness in his right side. An MRI taken earlier today demonstrated a grade 2 oblique strain (based on reports), which will keep Hamels on the DL for likely 8-10 weeks. It is safe to say that Hamels’ impressive streak of 7 straight 200+ inning seasons will come to an end this year. Don’t bother with any of his replacements; for the most part they are all garbage. Stay tuned for further updates.

Corey Kluber

Another ace, another injury. Ugh. Rough year for starting pitchers. Kluber was placed on the 10-day DL earlier today with lower back discomfort. He was shelled yesterday, giving up 5 ERs in just 3 innings to the Tigers, and has a poor 5.06 ERA through 6 starts this season. Although it is unclear the exact nature of the injury, hopefully it is just musculoskeletal which is typically a relatively easy fix; and not involving a disc/vertebrae, like Clayton Kershaw was sidelined with last year. Stay tuned to more news involving the injury, but expect Kluber to miss at least one start, and possibly more, because the last thing the Indians want is for their ace to be on the DL for an extended period of time as a result of rushing him back to the mound too early.

Johnny Cueto

Top pitchers and blisters, they seem to go hand and hand (pun intended). Cueto continues to struggle with a blister on his right middle finger. He managed to out-duel Kershaw on Monday night, but has been less-than-stellar so far this year. Posting a 4.86 ERA, 1.32 WHIP with 30/11 K/BB ratio over 6 starts (37 innings) this year. As it stands right now, Cueto is expected to make his next start, Sunday versus Cincinnati. Do not be surprised if the Giants push his start back if the blister continues to bother him, which unfortunately it surely will.

Aaron Sanchez

I know many of you are wondering if Aaron Sanchez is slowly becoming the next Rich Hill. Highly effective when pitching, but now developed an annoying finger issue that just won’t seem to go away. Sanchez’s issue is actually not a blister, but instead a split in his fingernail on his right middle finger. He had just returned from the DL after a short stint after undergoing a minor surgery to remove part of the nail. Unfortunately it sounds like Sanchez rushed his return from the DL too quickly, as he only lasted one inning in Sunday’s start before departing with the same fingernail issue. It is safe to say that he rushed back too quickly from injury, and you can now expect the reeling Blue Jays to take extra precautions with their future potential ace.

Edison Volquez

Blisters are quickly becoming the bane of baseball owner’s existence. Volquez, now pitching in Miami, departed last night’s start with a……blister. The blister opened up in the middle of the start and caused him to lose his command. He even managed to enter the record books, becoming the first pitcher to record 8 BB and 9 K’s in less than 5 innings. Definitely a weird line there. We have seen how pesky blisters can be, he could miss anywhere from one to several turns in the rotation depending on how long it takes for his blister/finger to heal.

Steve Wright

Although information on this injury has been somewhat scarce, it appears that the Red Sox’s knuckleballer may require knee surgery after landing on the 10-day DL with a sprained left knee. Wright, who has been dealing with knee injuries since spring training, visited with a knee specialist yesterday and the Red Sox are weighing the recommendations and trying to decide what to do next. There have been unconfirmed rumblings that Wright may be dealing with a cartilage issue in his knee, which is why the timeline and treatment options are not crystal-clear. There have been rumors that Wright could be out in upwards of 6 months, which makes sense if he does indeed have a cartilage issue that needs surgical repair. Stay tuned for more information. Hopefully we will be able to confirm the exact nature of this injury soon. This injury has important ramifications, since David Price is still on the mend, the Red Sox will need another starter until he is ready to return. Expect them to fill in the spot with a combination of Kyle Kendrick and Brian Johnson. Knowing Red Sox’s GM DD and his affinity for trades, don’t be surprised if he pulls the trigger on acquiring one of the many starters that are available right now.

Noah Syndergaard

UPDATE: With each update on Syndergaard, the news seems to get worse and worse. On Monday, Thor was diagnosed with a partial tear in his right lat muscle by MRI. Today he flew out to L.A. to get a second opinion from the renowned Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Expect him to be out for at least 2 months, possibly closer to 3 months. It’s a tough break for baseball fan, Mets fans, and his fantasy owners alike. He’s such a privilege to watch pitch. We should have a clearer timeline for his return after Dr. ElAttrache’s examination. Stay tuned.

Original article:
Thor left today’s start with possibly a new injury. Noah has been dealing with biceps tendinitis for the past few weeks, and was asked to undergo an MRI on his biceps to determine the extent of the injury, but he declined this request saying that he felt fine and did not want to undergo an MRI. Then, today, Syndergaard started the first inning pitching well, with good velocity, but his command was off. Thor was pulled in the second inning after pitching 1.1 innings, giving up 5 hits, 5 earned runs, while striking out two and walking two. It appears that the injury that caused him to leave the start was not actually his elbow, but instead a strained right lat. It is a possibility that he was trying to compensate for his elbow tenderness and overthrowing using more of his shoulders and back, lead to the lat injury.

Unfortunately, this should be a HUGE SIGN to all athletes, reiterating to them that they should LISTEN TO THEIR TEAM PHYSICIANS. We have trained a long time, many over 15 years of schooling and professional training (after high school), to be able to anticipate, diagnose, and fix injuries correctly. These professional organizations hire physicians and other members of the medical staff to help protect their multi-million dollar players and address the issues early and appropriately. When Thor decided to overrule the Mets’ team physicians’ recommendations, by declining the MRI, he put both his health at risk but also the organization’s medical staff at risk as well. Rather than potentially preventing this injury by pushing back his start, Syndergaard took it upon himself to declare that he was healthy enough to start.

Tyler Skaggs

UPDATE: New information was released on Skaggs stating that his right oblique strain was actually a grade 2, which will likely keep him out for closer to 10-12 weeks. He received a PRP injection that will hopefully help speed the healing process up by recruiting some platelet-rich plasma (that were injected) by targeting the inflammation. Daniel Wright is getting Skaggs’ rotation spot.

Original article:
Skaggs was placed on the DL earlier this week with an oblique strain that will likely sideline him for at least 2 weeks, possibly up to 4 weeks. There is a possibility he will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Rushing oblique injuries can lead to frequent recurrences and improperly healed obliques, which for a pitcher will inevitably send him back to the DL. Skaggs has pitched decently to start the season, with a 3.99 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 29 K’s over 29 innings.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Ryu was placed on the 10-day DL with a left hip contusion. Pitchers are dropping like flies so far this season, but Ryu has a tendency to get hurt more than most it seems. He felt some tightness in his glute after sliding into 2B on Sunday. Pitchers need to stop hitting and running the bases. They should only be allowed to pitch from the mound and cover their position, anything else and it seems they get hurt so easily. Ryu has been mediocre at best so far this year, posting a 4.05 ERA, with 29 K’s over 26.2 IP in 5 starts. He may only need about a week to feel better, which means he may only miss one start. Do yourself a favor – get rid of him if you can. He’s more of a headache than he’s worth.

This was written for the @TheFantasyDRS by Dr. Jesse Morse. I am a Family Medicine trained physician, and I will be beginning a Sports Medicine Fellowship in the next couple of months. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly at @DrJesseMorse.




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