2018 MLB Injury Report: June 1
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The calendar has shifted to June and we are more than a third of the way done with the season. By now, fantasy GMs have a good sense of where they stand in leagues and what they need to do in order to put themselves in a better position to ascend the standings. This edition of the injury report contains some elite players so GMs are exasperated and licking their wounds. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD)
Fantasy GMs were feeling good on Thursday when Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound after an extended absence due to tendinitis in his biceps. However, he was taken out of the game against Philadelphia after five innings when his back tightened up. Let’s not forget that Kershaw does have a history with back issues over the past few seasons so he could very well be headed right back to the disabled list. This would be a crippling injury for fantasy GMs who were banking on his return as he could be in for another extended absence.
Noah Syndergaard (SP-NYM)
Thor’s injury was reported after we went to press earlier this week so now we can discuss the fact that the Mets pitching rotation has been almost completely decimated. Syndergaard has been good but not great thus far with a 4-1 record along with a 3.06 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. He has not looked dominant yet and now will miss a couple starts due to a finger injury. This is not considered serious and she should be back soon, but any time you lose a couple starts from a pitcher of Syndergaard’s caliber it will have a detrimental effect on your fantasy results. Seth Lugo started in place of Thor on Thursday night and will likely do so again next week.
Mookie Betts (OF-BOS)
Betts has missed the past five games due to an injury to his side and is still considered day-to-day. At this point if he does not show enough improvement to return to the lineup then it makes the most sense for Boston to make a retroactive roster move and place Betts on the disabled list. He has arguably been the best fantasy player in the league thus far so any games he misses is catastrophic for GMs. Keep monitoring his status and hope he is able to return over the weekend.
Marcell Ozuna (OF-STL)
Ozuna jammed his finger on Tuesday night and has only been limited to pinch hitting duties since then. The fact he was able to pinch hit indicates that he should avoid a stint on the disabled list. Ozuna is coming off a monster 2017 season but has been a disappointment thus far this year batting .260 with only three home runs, 23 RBI, 20 runs scored and three stolen bases. Harrison Bader has filled in for Ozuna but should return to the bench once Ozuna comes back.
Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF-PHI)
Hoskins appears to have just cut his lip when he fouled a ball off of his face earlier this week. However, it has been revealed that he in fact broke his jaw and has been placed on the disabled list. The Phillies have reported that he does not need surgery and will likely be out several weeks. Hoskins had a lot of hype coming into 2018 after his enormous second half last year, but he has struggled to a .233 batting average with only six home runs, 28 RBI, 28 runs scored and three stolen bases. Keep him stashed as he has tremendous upside and multi-position eligibility.
Álex Reyes (SP-STL)
There was a ton of expectations for Reyes who was returning from Tommy John surgery when he made his first start of the season earlier this week. Reyes did not disappoint as he threw four scoreless innings allowing three hits and two walks along with two strikeouts. However, he was taken out of the game after suffering a right lat strain that the Cardinals consider significant. It is expected that he will be out for an extended period of time which is heart-breaking for the young future ace. Keep him stashed on your roster because he could eventually become one of the top pitchers in the league if he can stay healthy.
Kenta Maeda (SP-LAD)
The Dodgers have been marred by injuries all season and now with Clayton Kershaw out again it magnifies the loss of Kenta Maeda who has landed on the disabled list with a strained right hip. Maeda has been solid and consistent this season with a 4-4 record along with a 3.61 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. Right now there is no time frame for his return so expect a lengthy absence.
Byron Buxton (OF-MIN)
The Twins seemed to have screwed this up as Buxton is back on the disabled list after it was revealed that his big toe on his left foot is still broken. He has had a miserable season thus far batting .156 with no home runs, four RBI, eight runs scored and five stolen bases in only 28 games. He has a ton of talent and upside so he is worth holding onto if you have roster flexibility, but he will probably be out for a significant amount of time to let his toe heal.
Dustin Pedroia (2B-BOS)
Pedroia just came back this week to make his season debut and has appeared in three games going 1-for-11 with one run scored. However, he was scratched from the lineup on Thursday with soreness in his left knee. He has not looked good thus far and is now considered day-to-day. The Red Sox will be cautious and conservative with their veteran leader but it is entirely possible he ends up back on the disabled list if he continues to experience soreness in his surgically repaired knee.
He is 1-for-11 with a run scored in three games since returning
Steven Matz (SP-NYM)
Matz was removed from his last start with a finger injury after not allowing a run. He has avoided the disabled list and is expected to make his next start over the weekend against the Cubs. The Mets desperately need Matz to stay healthy and pitch deeper into games as their bullpen has been grossly overused and exposed. Matz has pitched fairly well going 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 45.2 innings. He needs to be more efficient with his pitches and get more length in order to put himself in a better position to accumulate wins.
Jeff Samardzija (SP-SF)
The Giants placed Jeff Samardzija on the disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. He was removed from his previous start this week due to the injury and is expected to miss a start or two depending on how quickly he can recover. Samardzija has been atrocious this season with a 1-4 record along with a 6.56 ERA, 1.68 WHIP and 26 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. He is not worth rostering at this point and would only be a viable waiver option once he demonstrates he can stay healthy and increase his strikeout rate.
Zack Cozart (3B-LAA)
Cozart has missed the past couple games due to tightness in his left forearm which he initially experienced during batting practice on Wednesday. He will likely be held out until he can show he can swing a bat without any pain or discomfort, so expect him to be out for at least a few days. Jefry Marte replaced Cozart at third base on Thursday and should see additional playing time until Cozart is able to return.