Here is the Fantrax Injury Report for Tuesday, September 5, 2023. In today’s edition, Shohei Ohtani’s future as a pitcher is discussed, as he may not need Tommy John Surgery after all. Sticking with Ohtani, his future as a hitter may be compromised as he injured himself during batting practice and may miss some time with an oblique injury, though nothing has been set in stone. Finally, the Blue Jays are reeling, and the statuses of Matt Chapman, Bo Bichette, Danny Jansen, and Erik Swanson are discussed. All that and much more in today’s Injury Report from Fantrax.
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MLB Injury Report
Tyler Wells – SP Baltimore Orioles
#Orioles' Tyler Wells is experiencing arm fatigue at Triple-A Norfolk, where he hasn't pitched since Aug. 25. Manager Brandon Hyde said Wells hasn't bounced back the way team had wanted from last outing, hopeful he'll be pitching again soon.
— Jake Rill (@JakeDRill) September 2, 2023
It’s important to note that his last two outings were each one inning of work and that he hasn’t thrown more than 3.1 innings in the minors since his demotion. One has to wonder if his arm would be better suited as a reliever next season.
Alex Verdugo – OF Boston Red Sox
Alex Verdugo likely won't play tomorrow (hamstring). Best case scenario is Wednesday. Friday night be most realistic.
— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) September 4, 2023
This confirms yesterday’s suspicion of Verdugo missing some time in the earlier stages of the week.
Jarren Duran – OF Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have claimed RHP Logan Gillaspie from the Orioles and optioned him to AAA.
Jarren Duran has been transferred to the 60-day.
— Chad Jennings (@chadjennings22) September 4, 2023
Duran just had successful surgery on the flexor tendon on his big left toe and will miss the remainder of the season.
Luis Robert – OF Chicago White Sox
Luis Robert Jr. (quad) won’t play today and "probably not tomorrow, not sure yet," Pedro Grifol said.
"We’re shooting for maybe Wednesday. Which would be perfect because Thursday’s off and we can go back to his normal schedule Friday. The most important thing is he’s way better"
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) September 4, 2023
The White Sox are the true definition of “DTD” as they constantly take things on a daily basis. As for Robert, while they hope for tomorrow, we won’t really know until they announce it then.
Shane Bieber – SP Cleveland Guardians, Triston McKenzie – SP Cleveland Guardians
Shane Bieber will pitch Thursday and Triston McKenzie on Friday at Classic Park when the @LCCaptains host Lansing. Both are recovering from elbow injuries. The plan is for them to return to the @CleGuardians around Sept. 20. pic.twitter.com/j8LktkfA9c
— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) September 4, 2023
This is somewhat surprising news, especially for McKenzie, but here we go. Bieber has been throwing all of his pitches, which is tremendous news. McKenzie, at last update, had yet to be throwing, but he’s apparently had a good two weeks since that update. Regardless of where they were, the idea here is to get them acclimated again to throwing to hitters and evaluate where they are going forward.
Kris Bryant – OF Colorado Rockies
#Rockies Kris Bryant taking batting practice on the field for the first time since his left index finger injury.
— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) September 4, 2023
This is the first time he’s done anything baseball-related since he had his splint removed one week ago. There is no timetable for a return here, as one would assume that Bryant would need a rehab assignment.
Shohei Ohtani – SP/UT Los Angeles Angels
We check in with @Ken_Rosenthal regarding Shohei Ohtani's surgery "being inevitable", and John Means nearing his return to the Orioles roster
📺: FS1 pic.twitter.com/hdqCTz6NVP
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 5, 2023
The moment Shohei Ohtani appeared to hurt his oblique tonightpic.twitter.com/7UbMlUA8hS
— Action Network MLB (@ActionNetMLB) September 5, 2023
It was a busy day for Ohtani news and a very insightful video from Ken Rosenthal. Things that were discussed were the fact that Ohtani’s current elbow injury is in a different spot on the elbow from his past Tommy John Surgery spot. He may not need Tommy John Surgery after all, but nothing is set in stone. Ohtani does plan on pitching again, but it may not come during the 2024 season due to this surgery and the fact that his recovery may take so long. As for him as a hitter, he took batting practice yesterday and hurt his oblique while swinging. He was scratched from last night’s lineup and missed the Angels’ game. He will undergo some tests today to determine the severity of the situation. Obliques can take weeks to recover, and this could ultimately result in him missing the remainder of the season.
Zach Neto – SS Los Angeles Angels
Zach Neto is beginning a rehab assignment at Salt Lake tomorrow. #Angels
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) September 4, 2023
Neto has missed a lot of time with this back injury, so one would assume that at least one week away would be necessary.
Max Muncy – 3B Los Angeles Dodgers
Dave Roberts said he does not expect Max Muncy to need to go to the IL. Said his shoulder should be fine. Called it a "tweak." #Dodgers
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) September 3, 2023
Muncy tends to play through his minor injuries, so there’s a chance he’s out there for the Dodgers.
Aaron Ashby – SP/RP Milwaukee Brewers
Some Brewers injury updates from Pittsburgh:
Jesse Winker hurt his right quad on Friday in Nashville. He’s been moved back to the injured list from a rehab assignment.
Aaron Ashby pitches for Wisconsin this week, then will go to Biloxi the week after.
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) September 4, 2023
There’s a chance that Ashby pitches for the Brewers this season, but it would likely be in a low-leverage relief role. As such, he’s more of a 2024 dynasty option, with no guarantee that he will produce at a high level this season.
Garrett Mitchell – OF Milwaukee Brewers
Garrett Mitchell has a doctor consultation at the end of the week to determine when he can get back in games. Things are trending positively there. https://t.co/1FHXDER7PH
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) September 4, 2023
The hope was that Mitchell would begin a rehab assignment on September 19, and things are trending in that direction. That being said, it leaves very little wiggle room, if any, for 2023 impact.
Byron Buxton – UT Minnesota Twins
Byron Buxton will stay in Minnesota and get treatment on his knee, Baldelli said. When he's feeling better, the plan is to get him back out for more at-bats.
As for CF: "I think the way he feels is going to dictate whether or not he’s out there in center field or he’s DHing."
— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) September 4, 2023
It looks like Buxton will be the one who determines whether or not he plays in the outfield or sticks as the team’s designated hitter. Either way, time is running out for him to return to Minnesota, as the team has 24 games to go.
Mason Miller – SP Oakland Athletics
Kotsay said the A’s will look to activate Mason Miller off the IL at some point this week.
— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 4, 2023
When Miller is activated remains to be seen, but it will happen during this week’s worth of games. Be prepared.
Andrew McCutchen – OF Pittsburgh Pirates
— Andrew McCutchen (@TheCUTCH22) September 5, 2023
McCutchen was removed from yesterday’s game as a precautionary measure, but coming straight from the source himself, he should be back soon enough.
Marco Luciano – SS San Francisco Giants
Giants say Marco Luciano (hamstring) will be evaluated again in a couple of weeks which sounds like at least a Grade 2 strain.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 13, 2023
There was some confusion as to what the severity of Luciano’s hamstring injury was. His lengthy absence thus far, followed by two more weeks of inactivity reveals that it is a Grade 2 strain and that he is likely done for the season.
Josh Jung – 3B Texas Rangers
Josh Jung took some ground balls today off the bat, another small step in his recovery. He is hoping to swing a bat – albeit with no ball involved – before end of week
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) September 4, 2023
It’s a step forward for Jung, but he will need to advance to hitting live pitching before a rehab assignment is even considered.
Toronto Blue Jays – Team Update
Rest day for Bo Bichette’s rehab work with quick turnaround, says Schneider.
Matt Chapman doing strengthening work but no fielding or hitting.
Danny Jansen will see a specialist Wednesday to determine next steps.
Erik Swanson slated to throw a bullpen in Toronto tomorrow.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 4, 2023
Bichette has been doing well in his rehab and the hope is to have him back when he is first eligible. Chapman will need to hit and do some fielding before any sort of return is speculated upon. More information should be known after tomorrow’s meeting, but there’s a chance that Jansen won’t return at all. Keep that in mind moving forward and have a backup plan if necessary. Finally, keep an eye on this BP for Swanson, as there was talk of him missing the minimum amount of time.