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MLB Injuries

Players starting season on the DL

Ryan Sharp



© Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

JT Realmuto

Realmuto suffered a lower back contusion on March 11, and hasn’t swung a bat since. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters they won’t rush him back. Realmuto will be eligible to return in the fifth game of the season, but might need up to eight weeks to fully recover. Miami will likely throw switch-hitter Tomas Telis behind the plate until Realmuto returns. The Marlins are still committed a full rebuild, so their performance likely won’t skyrocket once their starting catcher comes back.

Daniel Murphy

After undergoing microfracture knee surgery in October, the Nationals were confident Murphy would be able to return for Opening Day. However, they placed him on the 10-day Disabled List on Tuesday.

“The purpose of the procedure is to stimulate new blood flow to the area in an effort to restore/repair damaged cartilage,” per Brandon Bowers, DPT.

Washington will use Howie Kendrick and Wilmer Difo at second base until Murphy returns to the lineup.

Dustin Pedroia (Likely)

Pedroia’s hopes of being able to play a full season in 2018 suffered a setback when he opted to have surgery, his second on the same knee in just 12 months. The Red Sox say he will be out for about three more months.

“It sounds like he had microfracture surgery which may help to rejuvenate his career and allow him to play, relatively pain free, for at least a couple more years at a high-level,” Fantasy Doctors injury expert Dr. Jesse Morse said. “Opening Day might not be out of the question … May 1 may be a more realistic (return to play) date.”

Mark Melancon (likely)

Melancon’s 2017 campaign was cut short in September when he underwent surgery to repair a flexor pronator strain.

The Fantasy Doctors’ Michael Valverde said the injury won’t affect Melancon much going forward, but timing is a bit unclear. Until he returns, Sam Dyson will be San Francisco’s closer.

Dinelson Lamet

After taking a line drive to the forearm in his final Spring Training start, Lamet threw a bullpen session on Sunday, but Padres manager Andy Green wants to ensure the righty fully recovers. Reports show Tyson Ross as a leader to replace Lamet in the rotation.

The Padres hope for a May return, which Dr. Jesse Morse says is possible, depending on the extent of the injury, which is unclear at this time.

Mark Trumbo

It is unknown exactly what happened, but Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo suffered a Grade 2 quad strain earlier this Spring. He resumed running on Wednesday and is expected to return in another two weeks.

Young slugger Trey Mancini frequents Baltimore’s platoon outfield, and prospect Austin Hays is MLB-ready so there shouldn’t be any hiccups in the O’s lineup.

Yuli Gurriel

Gurriel underwent surgery on his hamate bone at the end of February and is expected to be out 2-4 more weeks. This injury is common in baseball, occurring in a bone at the base of the pinky. He will also have to sit out five games due to a suspension stemming from the 2017 World Series.

J.D. Davis will play first base for the Astros until Gurriel’s return. Davis hit .385 with a .406 on base percentage this Spring, showing he’s capable of performing at the Major League level.

Michael Brantley

After appearing in only 101 games over the past two seasons, Brantley underwent ankle surgery last October. He made his Spring Training debut last Wednesday, but the Indians aren’t rushing his return.

Tyler Naquin will be on the 25 man roster to start the season to play in place of Brantley. He hit .216 in 19 games last season

Ervin Santana

The 35-year-old pitcher had surgery on his right third metacarpophalangeal joint in February.

He could possibly return to the Twins’ rotation in 2-6 weeks, according to Fantasy Doctors expert Jesse Morse, but reports recently surfaced that Santana can’t even grip a ball. Despite this, Santana and the Twins both believe his recovery is on track.

Minnesota brought in free agent Lance Lynn to not only fill the rotation spot, but add another reliable arm for the entire season. Lynn had a 3.43 ERA over 33 starts with the Cardinals in 2017.

Jimmy Nelson

Nelson had surgery in September of 2017 to repair rotator cuff and labral tears. The Brewers expected him to be back in June, but at this point, mid-July appears more realistic, as he won’t even throw off a mound until the end of next month.

Brent Suter will hold down the fifth spot until Nelson returns. He posted a 4.57 ERA in 21.2 innings this Spring.

Wade Miley will be another potential starter once he returns from a groin injury.

Zach Britton

After suffering a ruptured achilles in December, the Orioles said Britton could return in as soon as six months, meaning he could be back on the mound before the All Star Break. However, Fantasy Doctors injury expert Dr. Selene Parekh said eight to 11 months is a more realistic timetable.

Until his return, Baltimore will likely use Brad Brach and Darren O’day to fill the closer role.

Julio Urias

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias underwent surgery to repair the anterior shoulder capsule in his left shoulder last June.

“The capsule is a tissue that keeps the fluid in the joints but also adds some stability to the joint,” Fantasy Doctors injury expert Dr. Selene Parekh said. “Repair of the anterior capsule is a repair of the capsule that is in front of the bone. It is usually associated with a labrum tear”

Because shoulder injuries are harder to recover from than elbow injuries, the Dodgers will be extra cautious with his rehab. Despite being led by ace Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles might need to add another arm down the stretch. It will only be Urias if the Dodgers are confident in his health.

Greg Bird

One of the Yanks’ top prospects, Bird was set to start the season at first base. He underwent surgery on a broken spur in his foot that is expected to leave him out for six to 12 weeks, according to Dr.Selene Parekh.

Tyler Austin will fulfill the bulk of first base duties until Bird returns. Austin burst on to the scene in 2016 when he and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back homers in their first career at bats. He has only played 51 total games in the MLB, hitting .236 with seven home runs and 20 RBI.

Madison Bumgarner

San Francisco’s ace fractured his hand after being hit by a line drive last week. Dr. Parekh said Bumgarner could return in 4-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. The Giants are in the middle of an on-the-fly rebuild, but that could be on hold until their star pitcher returns.

Rookie Tyler Beede, who gave up 10 earned runs in 8.1 innings will fill his spot in the rotation.

Jeff Samardzija

Before losing MadBum, the Giants were already down a starter. Samardzija will be out for up to another three weeks with a pectoral strain, per Dr. Jesse Morse.

He’ll be replaced by veteran Derek Holland, who posted a 6.20 ERA in 29 starts with the White Sox last season.

Once again, a huge blow to the rebuild.

Danny Salazar

The Indians announced right-hander Danny Salazar will start the season on the DL with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He threw from a mound for the first time since the ALDS last week, but will likely miss at least another two weeks.

Right-hander Mike Clevinger will occupy the fifth spot for now. He started 21 games for the Tribe last season.

The Indians had seven starting pitchers, but are now down to five. Ryan Merritt was placed on the DL earlier this week.

Drew Pomeranz

Pomeranz was diagnosed with a left forearm flexor strain earlier this month. Dr. Jesse Morse set a return time of two to four weeks, which has held true as the Red Sox announced that the lefty will start the season on the DL.

Brian Johnson is listed as the fifth starter on Boston’s official depth chart. The 27-year-old struck out 13 batters in two starts this Spring.

Dan Straily

Strailey will miss the start of the season after an MRI revealed inflammation in his throwing arm. After a ten day no-throw period, he resumed throwing last Friday. Straily was slated as the Marlins’ number two starter, but he’ll likely remain out until mid-April at the earliest.


Justin Turner

Turner suffered a broken wrist on March 19 after being hit by a pitch. Dr. Parekh said he could return in as little as two weeks depending on the severity of the break. It is also possible he misses up to twelve weeks or more.

Logan Forsythe, who hit .224 last season, is projected to play third base until turner returns.

Nathan Eovaldi

According to Dr. Morse, “Nathan Eovaldi was diagnosed with loose bodies in his pitching elbow & needs to have them removed arthroscopically.” Expect him to miss four to six weeks.

This is a major hit to the Rays’ rotation, as they were only working with four starters to begin with.

It is unclear who will replace Eovaldi, but Tampa Bay did call up pitcher Austin Pruitt with the corresponding roster move.

David Wright

After an evaluation earlier this month, Wright was told he could not resume baseball activities for two months. Wright said he hopes to resume in May. He underwent back surgery in October after sitting out the two previous seasons.

The Mets acquired Todd Frazier this offseason to play third base until Wright returns to the lineup, if he does.

Adam Wainwright

The Cardinals placed Wainwright on the Dl with a right hamstring strain. Wainwright was scratched from his final Spring Training start after suffering the injury during a conditioning drill last week. He’ll miss about two to three weeks, according to Dr. Morse.

Rookie Jack Flaherty will fill his spot in the rotation. Flaherty allowed four home runs and five walks in 15.2 innings of Spring Training work.

Ryan is a Sports Journalism student at Arizona State University. A Pennsylvania native, he is passionate about sports and good journalism. Ryan also enjoys being terrible at golf, and embarrassing himself on the course. Follow him on Twitter @RealRyanSharp.

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