MLB injury report: Saturday, May 13
Drew Rasmussen (elbow), Tampa Bay Rays — Just hours after Rasmussen dominated the New York Yankees, the Rays made the shocking announcement that the righty had been put on the 60-day IL with a flexor tendon strain. That’s generally a very bad diagnosis for a starting pitcher, and potentially a precursor to Tommy John surgery — although the team did say they hope to avoid that outcome. Rasmussen will be shut down for the next eight weeks and will be reassessed from there, so he won’t back until some time in August at the absolute earliest.
It’s yet another blow to a Rays rotation that’s already lost Jeffrey Springs, while Tyler Glasnow has yet to pitch an inning in the Majors as he makes his way back from an oblique strain and Shane Baz misses the entire year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Rasmussen was off to a tremendous start, with a 2.62 ERA over his first eight outings, and his absence could hasten Taj Bradley’s return to the rotation.
Nico Hoerner (hamstring), Chicago Cubs — Hoerner was hopeful that he could avoid an IL stint after pulling up lame running the bases earlier this week against the St. Louis Cardinals, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Hoerner still wasn’t ready to return this weekend against the Minnesota Twins, and the team needed to make use of the roster spot, so the infielder has been put on the injured list retroactive to May 9. He’ll be eligible to return next weekend and it sounds like a real possibility he’ll do so, based on the mild nature of the strain. Christopher Morel will likely get a bunch of time at second base along with Nick Madrigal and becomes a recommended fantasy stream.
J.T. Realmuto (finger), Philadelphia Phillies — Realmuto jammed his right pinky finger while sliding into third base on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, and while he initially remained in the game, he was able to catch just one batter the next half-inning before being taken out. Thankfully it’s not his catching hand, but a sprain is still pretty painful, and it’s likely that the catcher will at least a couple of days. The team is optimistic he won’t require an IL stint, though.
Jose Altuve (thumb)/Michael Brantley (shoulder), Houston Astros — Welcome back, Jose:
Jose Altuve’s first at-bat since his thumb injury is a long fly out near the wall in center. pic.twitter.com/Pq05lJJZeC— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 13, 2023
Altuve made his first rehab start since breaking his thumb this spring, going 0-for-4 but posting a 95+ exit velocity three times. The second baseman is playing to play tomorrow as well, and he could be on track to return at some point next week if all goes well.
Brantley, however, is trending in the opposite direction. After the outfielder was mysteriously sent back to Houston to have his shoulder reevaluated — just when it seemed he was on the precipice of making his 2023 debut — Dusty Baker announced on Friday that he’d been shut down indefinitely. Apparently Brantley’s MRI found renewed inflammation in his shoulder, and while the team has yet to release any sort of timetable, it sounds like he’ll be on the shelf a while longer.
Max Scherzer (neck/shoulder), New York Mets — Well, let’s try this again. After being scratched yet again on Tuesday and being unable to play catch for the next couple of days due to a stiff nick, Scherzer threw a 35-pitch bullpen on Friday — and it seems like all went well.
Max Scherzer (neck spasms) just threw about 35 pitches in his first bullpen session since missing his Tuesday start.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) May 12, 2023
He finished with one of his usual fist pumps, so it seems like it went well.
He'll likely pitch Sunday.
Obviously we’ve heard this story before, but it does feel like Scherzer has gotten over the neck spasms. (Of course there’s still the matter of the shoulder condition the team fears he’ll have to manage all year long, but hey, baby steps.)
Salvador Perez (vision issues), Kansas City Royals — Perez was a late scratch on Friday due to what manager Matt Quatraro labeled “blurry vision”. The team doesn’t sound too concerned right now — it seems to be just a matter of when things clear up for the veteran catcher — but it’s still not great for someone with as many innings behind the plate as Perez. K.C. wants MJ Melendez focused on right field, so Freddy Fermin figures to fill in.
Liam Hendriks (cancer treatment), Chicago White Sox — After pitching again at Triple-A on Thursday, Hendriks told reporters that he figured to need two more rehab appearances before being ready to return to Chicago. He’s still very much working himself back into shape, sitting 94-95 mph with his fastball, but he should be back in the closer’s chair soon enough.
Garrett Whitlock (elbow), Boston Red Sox — Whitlock threw a sim game at Fenway Park on Wednesday, and it went well enough that he’ll head out on his first rehab outing at Triple-A Worcester next week. The righty was just rounding into form when he went on the shelf with ulnar neuritis, and he’s an intriguing stash in deeper leagues — Nick Pivetta will likely bump to the bullpen in the event of a numbers crunch in the rotation.
Trevor Story (elbow)/Adalberto Mondesi (knee), Boston Red Sox — It’d been a while since we’d gotten an update on Story’s rehab, so this is a good sign:
Alex Cora just announced that Trevor Story is back to hitting and fielding in Fort Myers.— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) May 12, 2023
There’s still no firm timetable for Story’s return, but it sounds like he could start a rehab assignment around the end of the month.
Mondesi looks to be stuck in neutral, though. The shortstop has been ramping up baseball activities as he recovers from a torn ACL, but after being reevaluated he still hasn’t progressed enough to be cleared for a rehab assignment. He’s eligible to come off the IL beginning next month, but that seems iffy right now.
Nick Lodolo (calf), Cincinnati Reds — It seems like Lodolo’s calf tightness has gone from bad to worse:
Breaking injury news for the @Reds— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) May 13, 2023
Nick Lodolo has been scratched from his start tomorrow and will return to Cincinnati to be evaluated. @JimDayTV pic.twitter.com/jAG9fDB2gb
The promising young lefty was scratched from a scheduled start for the second time this week, and now the question becomes whether he’ll need an IL stint or not. Based on how things have gone recently, it seems like the answer is yes. Levi Stoudt looks set to make his second MLB start against the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
Antonio Senzatela (elbow), Colorado Rockies — It looks like the righty has avoided the worst-case scenario after leaving his last start with elbow discomfort: Rockies manager Bud Black said an MRI has revealed an elbow sprain, which while obviously serious will hopefully rule out surgery. Senzatela will be shut down for three weeks before he can possibly start a throwing program.
Garrett Cooper (inner ear)/Trevor Rogers (biceps), Miami Marlins — After needing a brief IL stint due to an inner ear infection, Cooper is set to begin what should be a brief rehab stint at Triple-A this weekend. He should slot back in as Miami’s first baseman at some point next week, sending Yuli Gurriel back to the bench.
Rogers, meanwhile, is set to throw his first bullpen session on Saturday since landing on the IL with biceps tightness. It’s the second step of his throwing program, which should put him on track to return at some point next month assuming everything goes well.
Noah Syndergaard (finger)/Walker Buehler (elbow), Los Angeles Dodgers — Saturday will be a “really big day” for Syndergaard, per Dave Roberts, as Thor looks to make his scheduled start on Monday after suffering a pretty gnarly blister on his throwing hand last time out. Syndergaard is scheduled to throw a bullpen and see whether he’ll be able to grip the ball properly.
Roberts also told reporters that Buehler, recovering from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, has progressed to throwing off a mound. It’s seemingly a bit ahead of schedule, and it raises the possibility that the righty could return to L.A.’s rotation at some point after the All-Star break rather than, say, September.