2018 MLB Injury Report: April 17
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
It has been another brutal few days for fantasy GMs who are shuffling lineups and rosters due to a myriad of injuries to key players. Some injuries are not prolonged which makes decision-making difficult at times when we don’t know for sure how long some players will be out. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Mookie Betts (OF-BOS)
The Red Sox have gotten off to their best start in team history thanks in large part to Mookie Betts who is hitting .353 with two home runs, ten RBI, 16 runs scored and two stolen bases. He missed Sunday’s game after suffering a bruised left foot on Saturday in a collision at home plate. Boston was rained out on Monday so he got an extra day to recover and should be back in the lineup tonight barring any setbacks.
Josh Donaldson (3B-TOR)
It has been a rough couple years now for Donaldson who missed time in 2017 with injuries and now finds himself back on the disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. He has had a difficult time throwing so Toronto shut him down and will likely miss well more than the minimum ten days. Donaldson is in a contract year so big things were expected from him and thus far he is batting .239 with three home runs, nine RBI, ten runs scored and one stolen base. Expect Yangervis Solarte to play third base in his absence.
Anthony Rendón (3B-WAS)
Another star third baseman is ailing as Anthony Rendón has missed the past several games after he fouled a ball off of his toe late last week. Washington thinks he will not need a stint on the disabled list, but if he misses any more time then a roster move seems inevitable. Rendon is a stud at the hot corner hitting .286 with one home run, four RBI and five runs scored. Wilmer Difo should see most of the playing time at third base if Rendon ends up missing more time.
Jonathan Schoop (2B-BAL)
Schoop is coming off a stellar 2017 season but has gotten off to a slow start thus far batting .230 with one home run, three RBI and seven runs scored. He suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain and has been placed on the 10-day disabled list. Baltimore believes he will be ready to be activated after the minimum ten days so fantasy GMs should not be without him for long. Tim Beckham is expected to fill in at second base in Schoop’s absence.
Buster Posey (C-SF)
The elite catcher continues to produce offensively as he is batting .313 with two home runs, eight RBI, five runs scored and two stolen bases. He missed Sunday’s game due to swelling in his right thumb and then the Giants were off on Monday giving him extra time to rest and recover. He is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday so fantasy GMs do not have anything to worry about.
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL)
Ever since Braun was suspended for PED’s a few years ago, he has been bitten by the injury bug which could be karma or an indictment of what drugs can do to the body. He has missed the past couple games with a back injury but pinch hit in both instances. He should be back in the lineup any day as the injury is clearly not serious enough to warrant a trip to the disabled list. He has struggled thus far hitting only .176 with three home runs, eight RBI, four runs scored and two stolen bases.
Eric Thames (1B-MIL)
Milwaukee has suffered several injuries in the early going including all-or-nothing Eric Thames . Thames is considered day-to-day right now after he strained his left adductor on Sunday against the Mets. He then missed Monday’s game but should be back on the field any day at this point. He is hitting .222 with five home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored and remains a solid source for power.
Taijuan Walker (SP-ARZ)
Walker has been placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right forearm. As we all know, forearm injuries are a scary revelation as they could be the pre-cursor to needing Tommy John surgery. This does not appear to be heading in that direction but we will know more once the results of an MRI come back. Arizona is downplaying the severity of the injury so fantasy GMs need to hold their breath until we know more about the extent of the damage.
Jose Martinez (1B-STL)
One of the biggest surprises of the first few weeks of the season has been Cardinals first baseman Jose Martinez who is hitting .364 with three home runs, 15 RBI and five runs scored thus far. He has been beaten up all season and suffered a left wrist injury in a collision on Sunday against the Reds. He is considered day-to-day at this point after x-rays came back negative.
Josh Harrison (2B-PIT)
Bad news for Josh Harrison as he has been placed on the disabled list with a fractured left hand. Harrison is expected to miss six to eight weeks and will cede second base duties to Sean Rodríguez and Adam Frazier . The Pirates have been a big surprise thus far and Harrison’s absence will certainly be felt as the versatile infielder was hitting .263 with one home run, five RBI, 12 runs scored and one stolen base. He is valuable thanks to his positional flexibility but is not worth stashing in a DL spot except in very deep leagues.
Jurickson Profar (SS-TEX)
Profar was being given yet another opportunity to show that he belongs in the big leagues as he was set to fill in for Elvis Andrus who landed on the disabled list. Unfortunately, Profar was involved in a collision at second base trying to turn a double play and suffered a concussion. He will be monitored closely over the next few days and will likely land on the disabled list.
Kevin Kiermaier (OF-TB)
There are so few recognizable players on Tampa Bay’s roster than when losing Kevin Kiermaier is a huge deal you know you have problems. Kiermaier is more known for his defense as indicated by his .163 batting average with no home runs, one RBI, six runs scored and one stolen base. He tore a ligament in his right thumb and will need surgery which projects to an absence of two to three months. He throws right-handed so do not expect him back likely until July. He can be kept on the waiver wire and is not worth stashing.
Dinelson Lamet (SP-SD)
Big things were expected for Lamet this year as the Padres starter was projected to have a breakout season thanks to his propensity for strikeouts. Unfortunately, we will have to wait quite a while before we see him again as Lamet is set to undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow. He will obviously miss the entire 2018 season and if all goes well he could be back at some point around the 2019 All Star break.