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Medical Corner: Eugenio Suarez, Danny Salazar, Joe Musgrove, and Steven Souza

Eugenio Suarez – Thumb “Sprain”

Apparently, Mr. Suarez’s fracture was more like a sprain or hairline fracture, based on the fact that he’s already heading out to Triple-A for a rehab assignment. He should return to the Reds lineup by early next week. I can hear the collective sigh from Nick Senzel owners now. Suarez should perform well and experience minimal trouble from the injury.  Expected Return: First week of May

Danny Salazar  Shoulder Pain

February news divulged that shoulder pain hampered Salazar’s works for over a month. He has progressed as planned through a throwing program, but he has only increased his pitch-count to 20 as of last week. A return to the rotation isn’t likely to occur until early June. He needs to ramp up his pitch count and will likely require a few minor-league starts to refine his command. If the Indians choose to put him in the bullpen, he could be on the major league roster as early as late-May.

Shoulder injuries in MLB pitchers are worrisome, and rotator cuff strains reoccur with repetitive use athletes. I would estimate that, if he pitches 80-100 innings in 2019, the Indians will consider it a triumphant return. Salazar missed most of June and July of 2017 with right shoulder soreness. For those keeping track, Salazar pitched 103 innings in 2017 and 137.3 in 2016. It’s almost like he isn’t built to be a starter? Consider Nick Pivetta in the meantime; Al Melchior explains why hereExpected Return: Late May 

Joe Musgrove – Shoulder Pain

In similar fashion to Salazar, spring training soreness never really allowed him to perform. The medical team shut him down as the season began, dashing the fantasy sleeper proclamations of many. His rehab and throwing program has been uneventful the past few weeks.

I’m worried about Musgrove this season. He added a few ticks of velocity this past season, and a new pitch (one-seam fastball). More evidence is mounting that pitching near max effort leads to more injuries (insert Steven Matz picture here). Musgrove’s risk for re-injury is significant for the rest of 2018. I’d rather invest in Mike Soroka or Hyun-Jin Ryu.  Expected Return: Late May

Steven Souza – Strained Pectoral

A strained pectoral muscle in spring training has delayed Souza’s debut. He attempted minor league rehab assignments in early April, but he was shut down again after pain and an MRI that showed swelling around the injury area. Healing time for pec strain is usually six weeks, but the setback can reset the timetable a few weeks. Provided that he doesn’t experience another delay, Souza could return in mid to late May.

A pec strain can undoubtedly limit your throwing velocity and hitting power. Expect Souza to spend significant time in the minors, and his power might be a little lighter his first few weeks back.


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