The injury bug claimed its latest victim before games even got going on Sunday, as the New York Yankees were forced to put Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list — and that was just the beginning of the newsworthy developments.
MLB injury report: Monday, April 17
Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), New York Yankees — At this point, it’s not a matter of if Stanton will miss time due to injury every year, it’s just a matter of when — and the answer in 2023 turned out to be Sunday. The slugger was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain and put on the injured list. The team hasn’t offered an exact timetable for return, but Corey Seager suffered the same level of injury and was expected to be out at least four weeks. Figure a return in late May or early June until we hear otherwise.
Will Smith (concussion), Los Angeles Dodgers — Smith had missed the last couple of games with what was thought to be an illness, but it turns out were symptoms of a concussion.
Dave Roberts said Will Smith passed SCAT5 testing on Friday after reporting symptoms on Thursday, but those symptoms still haven’t subsided, hence the IL placement. Had more tests today. He said he doesn’t know if Will Smith has had a concussion before.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) April 16, 2023
The concussion injured list is just seven days, but it’s unclear whether Smith will need to miss additional time.
Kris Bubic (flexor strain), Kansas City Royals — Alarm bells went off when Bubic — who was in the middle of a breakout season — displayed diminished velocity against the Atlanta Braves in his last start, and now the left has been put on the injured list.
Matt Quatraro on Kris Bubic heading to 15-day IL: "The concern was the velocity was down ... with the weather we weren't sure ... velo's seemed to be down a little bit throughout the game, but we probably should've had more concern than we did." #Royals— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) April 16, 2023
Sponsored by @Toyota. pic.twitter.com/FIbJlVirZR
The official diagnosis is a flexor tendon strain in Bubic’s elbow — far from the worst-case scenario, but Bubic is still likely to miss at least a few weeks.
Jesse Winker (oblique), Milwaukee Brewers — After Winker missed several games due to a mysterious illness this week, he was abruptly scratched from Milwaukee’s lineup on Sunday — for among the strangest reasons we’ve ever heard.
Jesse Winker believes his oblique soreness was more related to all the coughing from his case of bronchitis and not baseball movement. Is hoping to be back by Tuesday at the latest.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) April 16, 2023
That’s a lot of coughing.
Spencer Steer (knee), Cincinnati Reds — Steer banged his knee late in Cincy’s blowout loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, but it doesn’t sound too serious:
Spencer Steer said his quad/knee is already feeling better and that he may have made it look worse than it was. Initial x-rays were clear— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 16, 2023
Which is a huge relief, as Steer was off to a big start as the Reds’ starting third baseman and carries real deep-league value.
Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm), Houston Astros — McCullers remains ahead of schedule in his rehab:
Meanwhile, McCullers threw long toss today and his throwing program is going well and ahead of schedule. His next step is mixing in offspeed pitches in with mound work before the end of the month, if all continues to go well. https://t.co/K8l27aRV8p— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) April 16, 2023
Back on a mound by the end of April would put him on track to return at some point before June, which is great news for the Astros.
Alec Burleson (shin), St. Louis Cardinals — Burleson — the Cardinals’ two-hole hitter of late against right-handers — had to leave Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after fouling a ball off his shin. X-rays came back negative, but he should still have to miss at least a game or two. This would ostensibly give Dylan Carlson some more playing time in the Cards’ crowded outfield, while Tyler O’Neill, Jordan Walker and Lars Nootbaar are also factors.
Josh Donaldson (hamstring)/Harrison Bader (oblique), New York Yankees — A couple of positive updates for Yankees regulars: Donaldson, eligible to come off the IL on Sunday, will instead play in a rehab game on Tuesday before being activated on Wednesday.
Bader, meanwhile, was back in the Bronx participating in workouts with the team:
Harrison Bader (oblique) takes some light BP. #Yankees pic.twitter.com/t23HZ4nYnJ— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) April 16, 2023
It sounds like a rehab assignment will come at some point this week. Bader carries real potential in all fantasy leagues, with the ability to go 15/20 if he puts it all together — and can stay on the field for 100 games at a time.
Jorge Polanco (knee)/Alex Kirilloff (wrist), Minnesota Twins — Both Polanco and Kirilloff checked off major boxes on their road back to Target Field, making back-to-back Minor League starts for the first time during their rehab stints.
Polanco should be headed to Triple-A this week, with an eye on returning either this weekend or next week. Kirilloff, meanwhile, is on a more cautious timeline — the team wants to be careful with the former top prospect, who’s been unable to stay healthy in his MLB career and has been slow in ramping up after offseason surgery. He’s worth a stash in just about all fantasy leagues in case he can ever make good on his potential with the bat.
Randal Grichuk (sports hernia)/Daniel Bard (anxiety), Colorado Rockies — Similarly, Grichuk and Bard both started rehab assignments in Triple-A on Sunday. Their timelines are unclear, although Bard’s condition would seem to be the tougher one to pin down — the Rockies will obviously want to be responsive to how he’s feeling on a daily basis after their closer developed the yips this spring.
Ji-Man Choi (ankle), Pittsburgh Pirates— The ankle pain that landed Choi on the IL has apparently been bothering the first baseman since the spring. GM Ben Cherington said that Choi will be seeing a specialist and will have to miss more than the minimum 10 days. Carlos Santana figures to slot in at first base in the meantime, while the Pirates will rotate at DH.
Kyle Hendricks (shoulder), Chicago Cubs— Fresh off his first bullpen, Hendricks will throw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Monday. If everything continues to go well, Hendricks could begin a rehab assignment before the end of April — which would put pressure on Hayden Wesneski to start performing if he wants to keep a rotation spot.
Amed Rosario (back), Cleveland Guardians
Rosario sat out Cleveland’s finale against the Washington Nationals with what Terry Francona called a “balky” back. He’s day to day for now, but we know how back injuries can linger — and given the extent to which the shortstop has struggled so far this year maybe a break would do him some good. Gabriel Arias will fill in for as long as Rosario is out.
Joey Votto (shoulder), Cincinnati Reds — As soon as Votto embarked on a rehab assignment, he’s been called back to Cincy to continue recuperating.
Joey Votto update!— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) April 16, 2023
Votto is back in Cincinnati after being recalled from his rehabilitation stint in Louisville.
Here is the full story from @JoeyVotto himself, with all the details. @JimDayTV reports. pic.twitter.com/XRQ6kDSA4S
It doesn’t sound like there’s anything seriously wrong, just that his knee isn’t quite where he thought it would be. Votto should still be back at some point before the end of the month.
Joe Mantiply (shoulder), Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona is in desperate need of bullpen help, and the cavalry should be coming soon — Mantiply, who was shut down with shoulder inflammation this spring, struck out two in his latest rehab appearance at Double-A. The D-backs don’t seem to want to hand Andrew Chafin the full-time closer’s role, so saves could be there for the taking when Mantiply returns this month.