Medical Corner: Ronald Acuna, Yu Darvish, and Noah Syndergaard
Ronald Acuna, Atlanta Braves
MRI results showed a strained ACL, and rumors are swirling that Acuna wanted to play the following day. The Braves will handle their budding superstar wisely and give him some downtime. Conservatively, he should sit out longer than the minimum 10 days, but age matters in this situation. He’s a 20-year-old kid, and quite frankly, they heal faster than us old guys. I believe caution wins out in the case. Expected Return: June 15
Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs
MRI results were also encouraging for the Cubs in Darvish’s case. His numbers are curious, to say the least. Darvish’s velocity is the same or improved, but the major difference is that his slider went from an elite offering to one that is below-average. His BB/9 rate is also up. So aside from struggling with his command, there’s no hard evidence of an injury outside of inflammation. The medical course at this point is to shut him down and resume a structured throwing program in two weeks. His progression could be rapid, but at a minimum, he’ll be out a few weeks, which could turn into a post-All-Star break return pretty quickly. Expected Return: Late June
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
Oh boy, here we go again. Research shows that big-bodied, hard-throwing pitchers are more prone to injury, but man, this gets old. The injury is described a flexor tendon strain in one of his fingers. Although the Mets are reporting that he may need only the minimum 10 days off, I’d expect him to be out longer. Syndergaard obviously is a poor judge of when he is ready to return based on last year, as he kept pitching through his lat injury that basically cost him the entire season. Expected Return June 13
Ervin Santana struggled to hit 88-89 with his fastball in his first rehab assignment in Low-A. I know it’s just one start, but Santana is 35 and Father Time is lurking.
On Course/Trending up
Robbie Ray completed his downtime, and the MRI results were favorable enough for him to resume his throwing program. He remains several weeks away from a late-June return.
Carlos Martinez made a rehab start on Wednesday and could return as early as next week based on the how his strained lat responds to the workload.
Daniel Murphy looks to rejoin the big-league club in the next few days. If read our articles during draft season, this is precisely when we said he’d be back.