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MLB IL Report: The Injuries Keep Piling Up

Nic Civale is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and former NCAA Division I athlete. This week’s NFL Injury Report focuses on fantasy-relevant players who are likely to miss multiple weeks, and how to handle their absences. A large part of roster strategy is knowing what to expect from your players, so let’s take a deep dive into this week’s most relevant long term injuries.

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MLB IL Report: The Injuries Keep Piling Up

Happy Belated MiLB Opening Day! And Cinco de Mayo! Cheap hot dogs and margaritas for everyone!

Almost instantly, tracking injuries becomes easier now that we have minor league rehab assignments to watch. Over the next few weeks, we will see some of the players listed below begin rehab assignments and make their way back to your fantasy lineups. Let’s run through MLB’s most fantasy-relevant injuries and collectively pray my article will include fewer players next time.

Ketel Marte

Marte will begin taking live AB’s in alternate-site games as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain

Kole Calhoun

Calhoun underwent a procedure called a semitendinosus excision to remove one of the tendons of the hamstring. This decision is usually made when a hamstring tendon is repeatedly badly injured and the resulting scarring and adhesions make it more difficult for the athlete to return to play. Calhoun will set his return for 3-4 months. The average return to play for professional athletes with this procedure is roughly 3.5 months, per the study, Tendon Excision Following Distal Semitendinosus Injury in the Elite Athlete of the Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery.

Travis d’Arnaud

The Braves backstop will require surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He will likely be out months, not weeks. There is equipment to wear while catching to assist the left thumb. Nevertheless, his return to game-play will largely be based on symptoms at the time of rehab.

Hunter Harvey

The O’s late-inning reliever may return in late May, as he has not seen any setbacks in his rehab. Harvey sustained an oblique injury earlier this year.

Chris Sale

Chris Sale threw off the mound Tuesday. It was his first mound work in over 14 months. There is no indication of setback following the session.

Jake Arrieta

He’s likely to spend the minimum time on the 10-day IL with a thumb injury.

Nico Hoerner

Hoerner (forearm), similarly, expected to spend the minimum of 10 days on the IL.

Luis Robert

Sadly, Robert experienced a Grade III hip flexor strain running to first the other night. He will remain out of baseball activities at least 12-16 weeks. Hip flexor strains are difficult to manage because they are one of the primary muscles involved in raising the leg during walking and running. The early goal for Robert is to avoid any type of re-aggravation to the muscle. At the same time, he wants to avoid total inactivity where the muscle can stiffen. More than anything he has done on the field, this injury will test his patience. One thing we do know about Luis is that he is in the 2nd percentile for chase rate this year. He’ll need to learn to be more disciplined while recovering from this injury.

For those concerned with dynasty and keeper value, I don’t expect any lingering setbacks for Robert. This is a great buy-low opportunity from a fantasy perspective in these formats

Iron Man of the Month Award Winner – Roberto Perez

Roberto Perez joined the 10-day IL. He has got to be one of the toughest athletes in the game today. He has been dealing with lingering pain related to battling through a fractured right ring finger since 4/13. The injury occurred when he was crossed up by James Karnichak, who threw a curveball instead of a heater. Perez essentially pinned the ball bare-handed against his thigh, consequentially fracturing his ring finger. He’s played through it for weeks, earning his the first Iron Man of the Month award, something I just made up right now.

Austin Hedges and Rene Rivera will split catching duties while Perez gets a much-needed rest.

Jake Odorizzi

Odorizzi will be taking advantage of the MiLB season, as he will likely need one or two rehab starts before he returns from his forearm injury.

Adalberto Mondesi

Adalberto Mondesi may begin a rehab assignment next week for his oblique strain. It has kept him out of this entire season so far.

Anthony Rendon

One of my favorite MLB players heads back to the IL after a very brief return to gameplay. He fouled a ball off of his left patella (kneecap) and hopes to return right after, or soon after the 10 day IL period.

Cody Bellinger

The former MVP continues to avoid running following his fibular stress fracture. No major updates on that front just yet.

Dustin May

The promising young righty will undergo season-ending Tommy John Surgery, likely limiting his ability to pitch in most of the 2022 season as well. Not much else to report here, other than a giant sigh of discontent. Tony Gonsolin remains unavailable for the next 3-4 weeks.

Young Marlins SPs

Sixto mania will have to continue to wait. He remains limited to flat-ground throwing and hopes to progress to mound work in the next few weeks. Edward Cabrera (biceps) and Elieser Hernandez (biceps) have thrown 20 and 30-pitch bullpen sessions respectively. These occurred on Tuesday, 5/4.

Starling Marte

The heart of the Marlin’s lineup has begun rotational exercises, but nothing at full-speed or baseball-related just yet. I would bet on another month before return.

Jazz Chisholm

Jazzy C is expected to begin light baseball activities this week, such as jogging and fielding drills.

Milwaukee Brewers

This team is currently riddled with injuries, COVID situations, and maybe phantom IL stints. Most notably, Corbin Burnes and Christian Yelich remain without a set timetable for return. Yelich is the more concerning injury of the two. He had re-aggravated a back injury that has been bothering him all season, as well as some of last season. Corbin Burnes remains on the IL from what many speculate to be a Covid-related situation. Mainly because the injury was unspecified, people are fairly assuming it is related to the virus. I wouldn’t be shocked if this was a Dodgers-esque phantom IL stint to manage innings for the young hurler. I’m not concerned about his return to play being delayed or impacted by this IL stint. And of course, hopefully everything is okay with Burnes.

I plan to dive a bit deeper into the Yelich injury in the coming weeks. I’m wondering if his commitment to a greater launch angle and upwards swing path has put added strains onto his lower back. There has been a notable swing change and a reoccurring injury that began thereafter. Coincidence? Maybe. The change has certainly helped him climb to elite status in MLB. We will take a closer look as this back injury lingers.

Omar Narvaez landed on the IL with a hamstring strain. He has been looking like his 2019 self this year, with a slash of .359, .443, .529 through his first 22 games played. He’s an excellent IL stash if you have the room and weren’t lucky enough to grab one of the early performers from the catcher position.

Alex Kirilloff

Alex Kirilloff was heating up this week! But then he sprained his wrist. A sprain indicates injury to a ligament (whereas a strain indicates injury to a muscle/tendon). He will head to Dayton, Ohio to be further evaluated by a specialist.

Noah Syndergaard

Thor has topped out at 97 during intrasquad games as recently as this past weekend. He is expected to continue to ramp up and be ready for the second half of the season

Jacob deGrom

deGOAT’s MRI revealed inflammation in his right lat. Nothing serious here, it appears as if he’s avoided any strain or tear. The Mets have no reason to rush him back, but I wouldn’t expect him to miss more than one more start, if that.

Luke Voit

Voit is already showing he still knows how to hit at AAA, Scranton Wilkes-Barre, going 2-3 in his first rehab game. Expect him back in the next few weeks if this keeps up.

Luis Severino

Sevy is expected to face live hitters early next week for the first time. He appears to be about 3 weeks to a month behind Syndergaard.

AJ Puk

AJ Puk appears in my articles too much. Sad. He threw 30 pitches over two innings in a sim game this past Tuesday and continues to ramp up. He was placed on the 10-day IL with biceps issues.

Ke’Bryan Hayes

The surprise rookie of last season could be swinging on the field by the end of the week. I’m a bit surprised he hasn’t come back sooner. But the Pirates have absolutely no reason to rush him back. They are not contenders this year, and Hayes is their most valuable asset.

Kevin Gausman

Gausman is slated to re-enter the rotation Saturday (Covid) and Johnny Cueto (lat) is expected to start Sunday.

Mike Yastrzemski

Yaz could return as early as 5/7 after hitting the 10-day IL with an oblique injury.

Marco Gonzalez

Gonzalez has a forearm flexor strain, but he will try to manage this conservatively. He has been throwing off of flat ground at limited intensities. This will be a situation to monitor for more details. Expect at least multiple weeks of absence from Gonzalez.

Alejandro Kirk

Kirk is to miss about 4 weeks with a hip injury. This will open up even more playing time for the struggling, Danny Jansen.

George Springer

The pride of New Britain, CT, sadly re-entered the 10-day IL with a right quadriceps strain. This is retroactive to 5/3, but little detail has been given about an expected date of return. This is certainly a frustrating situation to be in, but at some point this May, I do expect Springer back at 100%.

Stephen Strasburg

Stras is another frequenter of my articles. He threw 35 pitches over 2 simulated innings Thursday. He will likely be progressed about 15-20 pitches at a time until he builds up to game speed again.

For more help, check out Eric Cross’s latest Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column.

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