Welcome to the latest edition of the Pitcher List Injury Report. I’m Anthony Tucker, and you may know me from the weekly Two-Start Pitcher rankings. I’ll be making a spot start for PL’s resident injury expert, Jake Robinson, this week. No need to fret, however, as Jake won’t require a stint on the 10-day IL and will be back next week.
We’ll be taking a look at injuries through the lens of the Worry-O-Meter. This is a 1-10 scale, 1 being not worried at all and 10 being extremely worried. As always, your add/drop decisions related to injuries should take your specific league size and the number of IL spots into consideration.
Mookie Betts – Right Hip Inflammation
It initially appeared that Dodgers’ star Mookie Betts would avoid the IL, but some lingering soreness led Los Angeles to give Betts additional time to rest. The move is retroactive to July 22 and is unlikely to sideline him any longer than the minimum. Betts received a cortisone shot prior to the IL stint, and will now have another week to recharge for the stretch run. While Betts has had a productive season, a number of nagging ailments during the season have potentially contributed to him not reaching his usual heights. A few more days off might be the best recipe for Betts to catch fire in August and September.
Return Date: Beginning of August
Nick Castellanos – Right Wrist Microfracture
Nick Castellanos is having the best season of his career and has established himself as one of the most well-rounded hitters in the National League. The career year is now on pause after the Reds’ outfielder was placed on the IL. The move comes a week after being hit by a pitch when a CAT scan showed a microfracture. Reds’ manager David Bell intimated on Monday that Castellanos is making good progress, making a quick return sound like a real possibility. The larger concern is that the injury could sap his power production if not fully healed.
Return Date: Early August
Trevor Rogers – Lower Back Spasms
The prohibitive favorite for the NL Rookie of the Year, Trevor Rogers, hit the IL with back spasms. It remains unclear how long Rogers will be out. With the Marlins out of contention, they likely won’t rush him back. From a fantasy perspective, there may be a small silver lining here. Miami was bound to either limit Rogers down the stretch or shut him down altogether. With this break in action, Rogers may be allowed to pitch deeper into the season, providing a boost to fantasy teams come playoff time.
Return Date: Timeline unclear
Zach Eflin – Right Patellar Tendinitis
Zach Eflin was placed on the IL with tendinitis in his right knee. Eflin does not believe the injury to be anything more than precautionary. It’s notable, however, that Eflin had surgery on both knees in 2016. While he’ll likely miss only one to two more starts, it’s something Eflin will have to deal with through the remainder of the season.
Return Date: Early August
Danny Duffy – Left Flexor Strain
Danny Duffy hit the 10-day IL on July 20 with a left flexor strain. This injury is particularly concerning because it is the same injury that knocked the Royals starter out for about six weeks earlier in the season. In his return from his first stint on the IL, Duffy no longer featured the 94-95 mph heater that fueled his success in April and May. Any potential for Duffy to move to a contender at the trade deadline is now up in the air. The Royals’ lefty will likely spend at least a month on the IL with the reinjury and is likely off the radar for the remainder of the 2021 fantasy baseball season. If he does return, it’s likely he won’t be built back up to a starter’s workload.
Return Date: End of August at the earliest
Stephen Strasburg – Neck Strain
Stephen Strasburg recently had another setback as he attempts to return to the Nationals’ rotation. The 2019 World Series MVP experienced discomfort after a recent bullpen session. He’ll be seeing a new specialist for the injury with an update from the Nationals hopefully soon to follow. While nothing has been decided yet, it feels less and less likely that Stras will make a return this season. The Nats’ recent slide has made missing the playoffs a near certainty. Even if the discomfort is pinpointed and eventually subsides, Strasburg will require weeks to build back up for what will amount to meaningless September games. Unless there are clear answers and a firm timeline coming out of the meeting with the specialist, it seems safe to drop Strasburg in redraft leagues where you need the IL spot.
Return Date: Timeline Unclear
- Carson Kelly will begin a rehab assignment tonight, July 27.
- Huascar Ynoa will make his first rehab appearance Tuesday; it is unclear whether he’ll be built back up for a starter’s role.
- After going 3.2 IP over the weekend for Double-A Portland, Chris Sale will make move to Triple-A for another rehab appearance.
- Luis Robert has been playing in minor league rehab games and should be back with the White Sox in early August.
- Aaron Civale will throw a fastball only bullpen session; Shane Bieber was moved to the 60-day IL as his recovery is going slower than anticipated.
- Alex Bregman is ready for a rehab assignment. Feel comfortable getting him into your lineup as soon as he returns.
- Carlos Carrasco might make his next appearance with the Mets. I’d recommend keeping him on your bench for his first big league start of the season.
- Jack Flaherty is scheduled to throw about 40-45 pitches in his first rehab outing this week. Look for him to be back with the Cards sometime in the next couple weeks.
- Some moderately positive news for the Nats: Yan Gomes is recovering well from his oblique strain, recently adding running to his rehab. Kyle Schwarber took BP over the weekend.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)