Today’s injury report features a lot of big names, but let’s kick it off with some breaking news regarding one of the best pitchers of this generation.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kershaw was scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Phillies, but he’s instead headed to the injured list due to what the team is calling right SI joint inflammation. Walker Buehler, who was slated to start Saturday, has been bumped up to tonight. Kershaw is off to a great start this season, with a 1.80 ERA through 30 innings. However, IL stints have been fairly common for the 34-year-old for the past handful of seasons.
George Kirby and Reid Detmers — two young, impressive arms who are available in at least 60 percent of ESPN Fantasy leagues — are two options for fantasy owners looking to replace the future Hall of Famer. There’s no word on how much time Kershaw will miss.
Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
From a fantasy standpoint, there’s no reason to panic yet about Harper, but he is definitely ailing. His right elbow has been bothering him for weeks, and he was finally diagnosed with a small UCL tear this week. That will keep Harper out of right field and as the Phillies’ designated hitter for the foreseeable future. However, Harper is doing just fine at the plate with a 152 OPS+. He homered on Thursday night against the Dodgers.
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves
The Braves have been pretty cautious with Acuna as he is coming back from last season’s ACL tear. So, they didn’t hesitate to hold him out of Wednesday’s game after he suffered a minor groin injury the night before. He may return for Friday’s series opener against Yu Darvish and the Padres, but that’s far from certain.
Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros
This rookie has done a great job of replacing Carlos Correa in the 6 hole for Houston. But he will need a little bit of time off after experiencing some right knee discomfort during Thursday’s game. Pena was removed in the fourth inning of that game (he already had three hits at that point) and won’t play Friday against the Nationals. He is listed as day-to-day. Aledmys Diaz, who hit a grand slam Sunday, will likely fill in for Pena while he’s out.
Blake Snell, SP, San Diego Padres
Snell, who was scratched right before his season debut on April 10 because of a groin injury, has completed his rehab assignment and should be ready to finally rejoin the Padres’ rotation next week in Philadelphia. Snell needed just 59 pitches to get through five innings in his start Tuesday at Triple-A. He gave up one run and struck out seven.
Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners
Haniger continues to be cursed with the absolute worst injury luck. The 2018 All-Star’s latest malady is a high right ankle sprain which he suffered on April 29 when he simply turned his ankle while running out of the batter’s box. This is a guy who missed the second half of ‘19 due to a ruptured testicle (!!!), missed all of 2020 due to a back injury, and had already sat out a handful of games this year due to COVID-19. Now he’s expected to miss months while his ankle heals. He may come back in July. Until then, Jarred Kelenic will continue to fill Haniger’s spot in right field. The highly touted prospect has not experienced much Major League success yet and is hitting a mere .140 with a .509 OPS across 86 at-bats this year.
Andrew Vaughn, OF, Chicago White Sox
Vaughn hasn’t played for the South Siders since May 2 due to a bruised right hand, but it looks like he’s ready to return. Although manager Tony La Russa said Thursday that Vaughn is unlikely to play this weekend versus the Yankees, the former first-round pick homered twice in a rehab game at Double-A later that night. He has put together a .283/.367/.566 slash line with four homers in 60 plate appearances this year, and the White Sox really need his bat back in their lineup.
Jonathan India, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
The 2021 NL Rookie of the Year is working his way back from a right hamstring injury — again. India, who missed nine games in April, aggravated that injury on April 29 and has been out of action since. He began doing baseball activities just a couple of days ago, although there is no timetable for him to return. 31-year-old Matt Reynolds has gotten a handful of starts at second base for the Reds recently, but he holds no fantasy value.