MLB injury report: Tuesday, May 2
Bryce Harper (elbow), Philadelphia Phillies — Let’s hope this is Harper’s last appearance in the daily injury report for a while. The team announced on Monday afternoon that the two-time NL MVP has officially been cleared to return to action. He’ll make his season debut on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, exactly 160 days after undergoing Tommy John surgery — the quickest recovery we have on record.
Bryce Harper returning Tuesday would be 160 days post surgery— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 1, 2023
That would be the fastest MLB TJ return we’ve seen
Quickest returns at MLB level from Tommy John Surgery, per Jon Roegele’s (@MLBPlayerAnalys) DB:
Tony Womack: 182 days
Jay Buhner: 207 days
Carl Crawford: 221 days
Harper will DH to start off, although he could get starts at first base as the season goes along given the Phillies’ need at the position.
Aaron Judge (hip), New York Yankees — The Yankees tried to give Judge’s hip strain as much time as possible to heal before making an IL decision, but after the outfielder still felt discomfort while taking BP ahead of Monday’s game it became unavoidable. Judge’s injured list stint is retroactive to April 28, meaning he could return as soon as a week from now, but the team will obviously err on the side of caution with its captain. Franchy Cordero was recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Ronald Acuña Jr. (shoulder), Atlanta Braves — Scary scenes during the second game of Monday’s doubleheader between the Braves and New York Mets, as Acuña took a Tylor Megill fastball directly on the shoulder:
Tylor Megill drills Ronald Acuña in the shoulder and he's in a lot of pain pic.twitter.com/CEiEHg388U— Shea Station (@shea_station) May 1, 2023
Taking a pitch off a bone-y part of the body is always cause for concern, but while Acuña left the game, Brian Snitker announced afterwards that X-rays on the outfielder had come back negative. He’s been diagnosed with a shoulder contusion, and while he’ll likely sit out tomorrow against the Miami Marlins, the team doesn’t seem too concerned. Which is a good thing, because the former NL Rookie of the Year is locked in at the plate right now.
Justin Verlander (shoulder), New York Mets — After much waiting and consternation, Verlander Day is finally nigh: Buck Showalter told reporters on Monday that Verlander, who completed a rehab start late last week, would come off the IL and make his Mets debut on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. The back of New York’s rotation has been a disaster this season, so whatever takes starts away from the likes of David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto can only be a good thing — especially if it’s a former MVP.
Luis Garcia (elbow)/Jose Urquidy (shoulder), Houston Astros — The Astros’ rotation, meanwhile, has taken a big hit in the last 36 hours or so. First, Urquidy was forced to leave his start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night due to what turned out to be inflammation in his throwing shoulder. The righty was put on the IL on Monday afternoon, and Dusty Baker told reporters that expected Urquidy to be out “a while”.
Then, just a few hours later, rotation-mate Luis Garcia also exited early with an injury:
Luis Garcia leaves the game after only 8 pitches pic.twitter.com/1DYhfrQbrT— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 2, 2023
Garcia’s issue is apparently his elbow, and while there’s not yet a specific diagnosis or timetable, it certainly doesn’t sound good. Brandon Bielak filled in as long relief after Garcia’s departure and could fill into one rotation slot, while former top prospect Forrest Whitley could also be an option from the Minors.
Corbin Carroll (knee), Arizona Diamondbacks — Carroll has been diagnosed with a knee contusion after banging into the outfield wall at Coors Field over the weekend, and while the team has sounded an optimistic note, they’re still having their prized rookie go in for an MRI to make sure there’s nothing structurally wrong. Manager Torey Lovullo made sure to able the scan “precautionary,” but we should know more today.
Luis Severino (lat)/Frank Montas (shoulder), New York Yankees — Well, at least it’s not all bad news on the injury front for New York?
Aaron Boone provided updates on Harrison Bader and Luis Severino earlier today. #YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/fUusS30tCl— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 1, 2023
Boone told reporters Monday that Severino, who’s set to go out on a rehab assignment later this week, is targeting a return to the big league rotation in two to three weeks. Montas, meanwhile, is “close” to beginning a throwing program, which is in line with expectation when he underwent shoulder surgery early in the spring. The team still hopes that Montas can contribute to the rotation at some point in the second half of the season, but he still has a long way to go.
Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow), New York Yankees — Okay, so it’s mostly bad news on the injury front. After being shut down upon feeling more discomfort in his elbow, Loaisiga apparently had to undergo surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow. He’ll be shut down for three to six weeks before restarting his throwing program, which would put his possible return somewhere in August in everything goes well. With Clay Holmes melting down again in the ninth on Monday, Michael King suddenly looks like a very appealing option if you need saves.
Brandon Crawford (calf)/Mike Yastrzemski (hamstring), San Francisco Giants — Both Crawford and Yaz left Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres in Mexico City due to injury, and now they’re both being placed on the IL. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that they both hope to be back relatively soon: Crawford told reporters that he’s planning on returning after the minimum 10 days, while Yastrzemski’s hamstring injury — which initially looked to be pretty serious — was revealed to be “just” a Grade 1 strain, meaning his timetable is somewhere in the range of two to four weeks. Thairo Estrada will cover for Crawford at short for the time being, and the team called Brett Wisely up from the Minors to take Yastrzemski’s spot in the outfield.
J.D. Martinez (back), Los Angeles Dodgers — Apparently the DH’s back isn’t progressing as hoped, as Dave Roberts told reporters that Martinez won’t be able to return from the IL when first eligible this weekend. That should prolong Michael Busch’s stay in L.A., while the team rotates through the DH spot.
Jameson Taillon (groin), Chicago Cubs — Taillon is set to throw a “high-intensity” bullpen session on Tuesday, a couple of days after throwing off the mound for the first time since straining his groin last month. Taillon may or may not need a rehab start, but either way he should be back at some point in the middle of May — hopefully with the same improved velocity he was showing earlier this year.
Yan Gomes (head), Chicago Cubs — Gomes got whacked in the back of the head by a backswing early in Chicago’s win over the Washington Nationals and was removed from the game. The catcher — who’s been crucial to the Cubs’ early success this year, both becaues of his .299/.314/.537 slash line and because of the way he’s managed a young pitching staff — hasn’t yet been placed in the concussion protocol, as the team wants to give him a day or so to see how he progresses.
Adam Wainwright (groin), St. Louis Cardinals — Wainwright looked to be in midseason form at Triple-A Memphis:
Rehabbing @Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright notches 9 K's in 5 2/3 IP for the @memphisredbirds: pic.twitter.com/0dhDPVGLGn— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 1, 2023
The righty threw 89 pitches and would seem to be all set to return to the Cardinals for his season debut, although the team has yet to announce anything. With Jake Woodford, Steven Matz, Miles Mikolas and Co. struggling so mightily, though, that day can’t come soon enough. Wainwright could be stream-worthy in deeper leagues, although you may want to see how looks first.
Carlos Carrasco (elbow), New York Mets — Buck Showalter said Monday that Carrasco is making good progress and could very well slot into the rotation later this week or this weekend. With Verlander, Carrasco and Max Scherzer set to return, now might be a good time to check out New York’s World Series odds while you still can.
Luis Robert (hamstring)/Andrew Benintendi (elbow), Chicago White Sox — Both Robert and Benintendi sound more likely than not to play on Tuesday, after Benintendi was plunked on the elbow by a pitch on Sunday and Robert was revealed to be battling hamstring discomfort after he appeared to not run out a ground ball against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Luis Robert Jr. just gave your high school baseball coach an aneurysm pic.twitter.com/AjS9dyuGnb— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) April 29, 2023
Whether real or just a convenient excuse, it would explain Robert’s struggles so far this year, as the outfielder is hitting just .213.
James Paxton (hamstring), Boston Red Sox — After his best Minor League outing of the year over the weekend, Paxton will reportedly make one more start in Triple-A before the team makes a determination as to whether he’ll wind up in the bullpen or the rotation. Paxton’s been a bit rusty so far this year, but that’s understandable considering how few innings he’s thrown over the past couple years or so — and given the state of Boston’s rotation right now it would seem that keeping him as a starter makes sense.