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MLB injury report for Thursday, May 18

We provide updates on notable injury news, providing fantasy baseball and betting analysis on Thursday, May 18th.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


MLB injury report: Thursday, May 18

Dustin May (elbow), Los Angeles Dodgers — May’s brilliant start to the season was cut short in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday afternoon, when the righty left his start against the Minnesota Twins after just one inning due to elbow pain. Just two years removed from Tommy John surgery, it was easy to immediately assume the worst, but it appears as though the injury isn’t related to May’s UCL. He’s instead been diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain, which the team hopes won’t require surgery if his rehab goes well.

Dave Roberts said after the game that missing a month was “the floor,” and it seems like the timetable for return is understandably up in the air at this point. May will receive a PRP injection this week, at which point he’ll be shut down from throwing for at least a couple of weeks to let things heal. There’s a chance he could return around the All-Star break if all goes well, but that seems awfully optimistic. It’s unclear who L.A. will turn to in the rotation with Michael Grove and Ryan Pepiot on the IL, but Gavin Stone could be an option.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (knee), Toronto Blue Jays — Exhale, Canada: Vladito’s MRI showed no structural damage in his knee, meaning he should avoid the IL.

Guerrero Jr. seemed to be stirring in the dugout on Wednesday night as though he were available to pinch hit, so it appears his knee is already feeling a bit better. He’ll likely miss another day or two but should be back at some point this weekend.

Manny Machado (hand), San Diego Padres — When X-rays on Machado’s hand came back negative, it was thought that he would just miss a day or two before returning to San Diego’s lineup. But it turns out that the problem is more significant than initially thought:

The team hasn’t committed to an IL stint yet, but it feels hard to believe that the third baseman will be able to play through even a small fracture in his hand.

Jose Altuve (thumb), Houston Astros — After another rehab game at Double-A on Wednesday night, Altuve seems very close to making his season debut:

The second baseman will head back to Houston on the off day Thursday, and word is he could be in the Astros lineup as early as Friday against the Oakland Athletics.

Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), New York Yankees — New York’s offense is starting to come around of late, and they could be getting a big boost relatively soon: Aaron Boone told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that Stanton is “getting real close” to starting a rehab assignment. There’s still no firm timetable for his return, but he could be back with the Yankees by the start of June.

Luis Severino (lat)/Carlos Rodon (back), New York Yankees — More good news on the injury front for New York: After getting through a second rehab start without incident on Tuesday, Severino is set to make his season debut this weekend against the Cincinnati Reds. He’ll be a bit limited — he’s only worked up to 58 pitches in live game setting so far — but it’s still a huge boost to the Yankees’ rotation, especially with Domingo German suspended for 10 games due to using an illegal foreign substance on Tuesday.

Rodon, meanwhile, took another step forward as he slowly resumes his throwing program. The lefty threw from 90 feet without incident, and it sounds like throwing off a mound could happen in the next few days. Even if there are no more setbacks, though, he’s likely a month or so away.

Triston McKenzie (shoulder), Cleveland Guardians — McKenzie, on the other hand, will be back a lot sooner:

The righty has yet to pitch this season after going down with a shoulder muscle strain in the spring. He’ll be a big boost to a struggling Guardians squad if he can recapture his 2022 form.

Nick Lodolo (leg), Cincinnati Reds — Well this escalated. Lodolo has gone from calf tightness to calf tendonitis to, now, a stress fracture in his leg:

It’s obviously a much more serious diagnosis than the team initially thought, and given that he won’t even be out of a walking boot until June, it’s unlikely that the former first-round pick will be back before the All-Star break. Lodolo has struggled recently and holds a ghastly 6.29 ERA on the season, but he has as much upside as any young pitcher in the game.

Max Muncy (knee), Los Angeles Dodgers — Muncy banged his knee in a collision with the Dodger Stadium wall on Wednesday afternoon, and while he stayed in the game, Dave Roberts’ comments afterward seemed to suggest that the third baseman could miss a game or two while swelling goes down.

Joey Gallo (leg)/Nick Gordon (shin)/Jorge Polanco (hamstring), Minnesota Twins — Oh boy. Gallo and Gordon both exited Wednesday’s loss to the Dodgers after fouling balls off their legs, and while X-rays came back negative on Gallo, it appears Gordon might be out for a while:

There’s not yet a timetable for Gordon’s return. Making matters worse, Jorge Polanco also made an early exit with what he described as hamstring tightness. The team hasn’t gone as far as putting him on the IL yet, but it certainly seems like we’re trending in that direction. Top prospect Edouard Julien could be headed back to the bigs shortly.

Alex Verdugo (groin)/Adam Duvall (wrist), Boston Red Sox — Good news and a little bad news regarding a couple of Boston outfielders. Verdugo left Wednesday’s win over the Seattle Mariners with groin tightness, although the Red Sox were up by double-digits at the time and Alex Cora said after the game that it was simply a precaution. He could need a day or two off, though.

Duvall, meanwhile, apparently has a date targeted for his return from a fractured wrist:

He was arguably Boston’s best position player over the first two weeks of the season and would be a big boost alongside Jarren Duran in center field.

Liam Hendriks (cancer treatment), Chicago White Sox — It seems like Hendriks’ long road back from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is nearly complete:

Hendriks has been with Triple-A Charlotte for the past couple of weeks as he gets back into playing shape. He won’t return this week, but it sounds like next week is a very real possibility — and he should hop right back into the closer’s role as soon as he does.

Nico Hoerner (hamstring), Chicago Cubs — Hoerner’s already progressed to fielding and baserunning drills, so this isn’t much of a surprise, but David Ross confirmed that the infielder is on track to return from the IL when first eligible on Friday. The Cubs could desperately use him back atop the batting order, as he’s been an offensively catalyst all year long while hitting .300 and stealing 12 bases. The red-hot Christopher Morel should still find regular playing time — especially with Cody Bellinger still nursing a knee injury — while Nick Madrigal heads back to the bench.

Dylan Carlson (ankle)/Tyler O’Neill (back), St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals will be without two of their outfielders for at least the next few days. Carlson was finally put on the IL after rolling his ankle coming out of the batter’s box on Sunday night, while O’Neill’s rehab isn’t progressing as quickly as he or the team hoped:

Oscar Mercado was recalled to take Carlson’s place on the roster, while Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan figure to see more time in the outfield alongside Lars Nootbaar and Alec Burleson.

Vince Velasquez (elbow), Pittsburgh Pirates — It was easy to assume the worst when Velasquez left a start back in April with elbow discomfort, but the righty has been progressing well of late and appears ready to go out on a rehab assignment in the next couple of days.

He’ll likely need more than one Minor League appearance before he’s ready to return. Velasquez was off to a career start when he went down, and the slumping Pirates could desperately use him back in the rotation.

Ross Stripling (back), San Francisco Giants — The back-end of San Francisco’s rotation has been in a seemingly constant state of flux this year, and now Stripling’s future is in doubt after he left his start on Wednesday due to lower back tightness. It seems like it could require a trip to the IL, which would likely thrust the struggling Sean Manaea back into the rotation.