Hello again, dear Razzgals and guys.
I’m here to bring you your daily dose of Saturday morning bad news. The injuries this year are truly somethin’ else. I really can’t remember any sport having a season like this aside from last year’s COVID fest. What a pure joy it is to be the bearer of bad news yet again for you all. I do apologize. Please understand I am just the messenger and am suffering right along with you.
Buckle up, folks. Whole lotta names on the docket this week.
Note: The writers cover injuries throughout the week, so if you’re looking for an update on a player not mentioned here, slap their name into the ol’ search bar and give it a look-see. I’m just here to give you the latest injury buzz for the week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be mentioning everyone you care about each time.
Luis Robert: The White Sox got dealt a heavy blow losing Rudy’s War Room darling Eloy Jimenez for basically the entire season before the season even started, and now they’ll be without LuBob for months. Robert suffered a completely ruptured hip flexor while legging it to first base back on Sunday. Maybe mid-August we see him again? Depends how the healing goes. Usually a 3-4 month deal with Grade 3 hip flexor tears. He could feasibly be done for the rest of the fantasy baseball season, too. I don’t know about you, but my IL spots are chock-full on just about every single team. Wouldn’t go wasting one of those on him in redraft leagues, to be honest.
Byron Buxton: Wellllllllllllll. To no one’s surprise, Buck left Thursday’s game after a sprint to first base and has subsequently gone on the IL with a Grade 2 hip strain. I’m sad, y’all. I wanted to believe this year was different. I wanted to see a full healthy season from Buck. Just imagine what it could look like, cuz make no mistake, Byron Buxton is a megastar. (Note on the tweet below: in my excitement, I wasn’t thinking about Ohtani, who is the actual best overall player. But still: elite hitter, elite base stealer, elite defender, elite cleat-wearer.)
Mike Trout is the best hitter in baseball.
— JKJ ? ? (@jkj0787) May 5, 2021
Christian Yelich: Old Yellerch came off the IL for one game, got two hits, didn’t feel good after, and now he’s back on it. Just what I and many others feared: recurring, lingering back issues. No one really knows what’s going on, and Yelich is reportedly very frustrated with himself about all of this. It sucks. No telling if he just needs more rest or if there’s something more serious underneath the surface. Stay tuned.
George Springer: Speaking of back on the IL, George “Gerry” Springer has also found himself back on that super fun list we all love as fantasy GMs. It’s his quad. I thought the oblique would be the thing to keep popping up and giving him issues, but dadblabbit if it ain’t the quad instead! He had 2 HR (both in one game) and 1 SB in the four games he played after finally debuting for the Jays. Welp, Randal Grichuk will continue to see more time as a result, and he’s been making the most of it (.306/.345/.514 slash with 6 HR and 26 RBI (!!!) in 30 games so far). Nice job letting Grich go, Cardinals!!
Bryce Harper: After taking a fastball to the face like a boss, Harper somehow injured his wrist at some point, but he finally made a return to the lineup Friday.
Jacob deGrom: At least there’s finally good news with a superstar: JDG should be back tomorrow. He got scratched with lat discomfort but the plan is to have him start tomorrow vs. ARZ.
Dustin May: Horrible news here. Tommy John surgery. Season over. The numbers were great, but they don’t matter now. Dynasty folk can stash away, but redraft/keeper folk need to just say bye-bye.
Anthony Rendon: On the IL after fouling a ball directly into his knee. Looked pretty ouch, not gonna lie. It’ll keep him sidelined for a good week and a half, if not more. MRI was negative.
Cody Bellinger: Has yet to be cleared to run at full speed (it’s at 60% right now per reports), so a timeline for return is still murky. The one year I finally own the dude…neat. Maybe it’s my fault. Sorry guys.
Juan Soto: Soto was activated off the IL but it was a little misleading. He’s not ready to play the field (i.e. to throw) yet so he’s been limited to three hitless PH appearances. However, yesterday the Nats began their weekend series at Yankee Stadium and Soto will serve as the DH. He homered Friday. He good.
Alex Kirilloff: I was very slow to the trigger on this kid. I didn’t really buy the hype. I mean, I didn’t exactly discredit it, because I’m not a big prospect guy, but it was very hard for me to get excited about a guy who had never played above Double-A before (except for one playoff game last year in which he went 1-for-4). Anyway, Kirilloff is on the shelf with a wrist injury that could be pretty serious. After going hitless in his first five career games, he’s gone 9-for-28 with 4 HR and 11 RBI in seven games since.
Travis d’Arnaud: 2020’s shining gem at C is almost assuredly done for the year after having surgery to repair a sprained thumb ligament. Even if he finds a way back, it won’t be in time to help fantasy teams. You can safely drop him in redraft.
Omar Narvaez: 2021’s shining gem at C (who isn’t named Yermin Mercedes) will be out for at least a couple of weeks with a hamstring strain. I will take my victory lap here since I’ve been touting a bounce-back for him basically ever since 2020 ended, but now it’s a very slow and sad victory lap with just one fist half-raised in the air and my head hung in sadness. Narvaez has slashed .368/.443/.529 on the year with 3 HR and 11 RBI. He’s 93rd percentile in xBA, 90th in xwOBA, 93rd in K%, and 91st in framing, which means he’s a lock for playing time when healthy cuz he’s great on both sides of the dish. Fun fact: my RazzSlam team only has two catchers on the whole roster. Can you guess their names? Narvaez and d’Arnaud.
Wilson Ramos: Placed on the IL yesterday with a back injury. Somehow the guy has 6 HR on the year. His .227 BA looks bad but the xBA is .273, for what it’s worth.
Alejandro Kirk: Another injured catcher. Hit the IL with a hip injury that is estimated to take around four weeks to heal. Kirk went bananas in Spring Training but hasn’t had nearly the same success in real games. Still has a respectable .801 OPS though.
Max Stassi: Oh hey another injured catcher. Concussion. He’s not a stellar fantasy option, but he’s not a terrible one either.
Buster Posey: Oh whoops, one more catcher. Posey is having the best season of his life, which makes total sense after having a harsh decline for years and then taking all of 2020 off. He left early Wednesday with hammy tightness. Came back Friday and jacked his 8th dong of the year.
Yadier Molina: Lol okay one more catcher. Molina was cleared to resume baseball activities but we still don’t have a firm timeline on a return. Love him or hate him, dude’s a warrior, but he’s also 38 years old. Could take a little time.
Carlos Carrasco: Ugh. We had really good reports and it sounded like Cookie was less than two weeks away. He felt and looked great and was hitting mid-to-upper 90s with his heather. Alas, now the Mets have gone and tossed him on the 60-day IL, meaning his earliest possible return date is May 31 since it’s backdated to the start of the season. There’s a small silver lining here: this isn’t because of a setback, it’s merely because he’s just progressing slower than anticipated. He’s not ready to push it further yet. Bit of a double-edged sword, but again, at least we’re not dealing with something extra. Just something extra slow.
Corbin Burnes: Don’t have much of an update at the moment, but the vibe I’m getting is he’ll be ready to return relatively soon. He’ll look to continue his record-setting start in which he’s struck out 49 and walked zilch.
Brandon Nimmo: On the IL with a bone bruise in his thumb. Eligible to come back May 13 but 100% sure if he’ll be ready by then. I’d bet he would, but ya never know in this crazy ol’ year. Last time the Mets gave us good news on someone on the IL they went and put him on the 60-day IL soon after!
Ian Happ: Happ had to be carted off the field after a colliding with Nico Hoerner. The Cubs put Happ on the 10-day IL with a rib contusion. No word yet on if they think he’ll be ready to go when eligible. It’s been a majorly disappointing year after last year’s breakout, but he did finally manage a multi-hit performance for the first time all season in his last game. And he’s walking a ton (has more walks than hits!) and hitting the ball hard often.
Ketel Marte: Don’t get too excited yet, but we at least have news on Marte’s progression: he’s taking live ABs at the alternate site. And we have this tweet from yesterday.
— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) May 7, 2021
Ke’Bryan Hayes: Hayes is nearing a return. The Bucs are on a 7-game road trip and KBH has traveled with them. He was spotted on the field taking grounders during warm-ups Friday.
Joey Votto: On the IL with a broken thumb after a hit-by-pitch. He’ll be out for several weeks it sounds like. Votto isn’t the fantasy stalwart we relied on for so many years, but he seems to have rediscovered his power stroke, and there’s a very healthy amount of red on the Statcast page. Maybe later in the year after everyone’s forgotten he’s even on your league’s waiver wire, give him a look-see.
Jazz Chisholm: Jazz resumed baseball activities this week. Doing all those things baseball players do. Running, fielding, swinging, throwing, etc. Eligible to return today but will most likely need a few more days. Shouldn’t be very long.
Brendan Rodgers / Kyle Freeland: These two faced each other in a sim game on Tuesday. Rodgers ran and whatnot as well. Freeland will need another sim start this weekend and then possibly a rehab stint beyond that. Both are inching closer.
Adalberto Mondesi: Progressing well and could begin a rehab assignment sometime next week. Has been taking ABs at the alt site and taking part in pre-game stuff, so we should see him in the not too distant future methinks.
J.D. Davis: On the IL with a hand injury. He’s only appeared in 14 games so far, but the dude has cranked out a .390/.479/.610 slash line with 2 HR and 7 RBI. I straight up picked him to win NL MVP last year in a short season. He disappointed, but still managed 31 BB to spike his OBP to .371.
Luis Arraez: Arraez is on the 7-day IL after suffering a concussion. Eligible to return May 11, but we’ll just have to wait until closer to that date to really see where he’s at. He’s scoring runs and is an elite buffer for your team’s BA and/or OBP. A 91.1 Z-Contact%, 97th percentile K%, and 86th percentile BB% will do that.
Nico Hoerner: It’s only been 11 games, but Hoerner is boasting a 1.056 OPS to kick-off 2021. He made his season debut on April 22 and has been going ham ever since. Has 3 SB, too. He expects to be back when eligible on May 14 after straining his forearm.
Khris Davis: This news comes more at the expense of Willie Calhoun than it does for any pick-up-ability that Davis has. Calhoun is blasting baseballs all over the place, slashing .328/.397/.492 thus far with 3 HR and 7 RBI in 16 games. Davis is expected to be recalled this weekend and could vulture some ABs away from Calhoun as a result.
Stephen Strasburg: Could return before the end of May. He’s to the point where he’s pitching sim games at least but will likely need a rehab stint as well.
Starling Marte: Has not resumed any baseball activity and has no timetable at all. Sometime in June is the earliest we can expect him back at this point by the look of things.
Dinelson Lamet: Lame-T is back! Only to the tune of a 30-pitch outing, though. Good news is 21 of ’em were strikes. Bad news is he didn’t strike anyone out. Other good news is he didn’t walk anyone. Other bad news is he allowed 4 hits. But the best news of all is that his arm seems to have held up just fine afterward. Don’t think we’ll be seeing many quality starts any time soon, but things are trending in the right direction finally.
Framber Valdez: Valdez tossed 20 pitches yesterday, looking and feeling great. Showed strong command. A return is nigh!
Chris Sale / Luis Severino: Got some updates on a couple of injured fantasy aces. Sale suffered a setback of some sort and now has an even fuzzier timeline for return. Severino is progressing well, though, and will be facing live hitters very soon. Monday or Tuesday, in fact. Looking at a July-ish return for him.
Jesus Luzardo: Have you ever had a mom/dad/wife/husband tell you to turn your video games off cuz you were getting too mad? Too #triggered? Someone shoulda been there for Lizard King. He slammed his hand on a table in frustration while playing the new Pokemon Snap (I don’t know what game it was, but it was probably that one) and broke his hand. I kinda wanna L-O-L at that, honestly. Another Out Of The Park Baseball type injury if I’ve ever seen one. It’s a hairline fracture and it’s unclear how long exactly he’ll be out. I wanna give Mr. Temper Tantrum the benefit of the doubt and say it won’t be too long, but who knows.
Noah Syndergaard: Progression is doing very well. Hitting upper-90s with the fastball. Mid-June is still the target for a return, but it’s nice to hear things are going well. Could easily see Thor being a second-half boon for fantasy squads.
Sixto Sanchez: He’s throwing from farther distances these days. Looking at an early-ish June return in a best-case scenario. Probably mid-June honestly, and that’s if things go smashingly.
Johnny Cueto: I hella wrote this dude off like years ago, but *Boromir GIF* one simply can’t ignore his start to the 2021 season: 20IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 18K. He’s back tomorrow. I really almost 0% expect it to continue, but hey. It’s 2021. Weird sh*t happens now. The Arkansas Razorbacks make it to the Elite 8, are #1 in baseball, and are SEC Champs in softball for the first time in program history. Fanny packs are cool again. Jack Flaherty hits dingers. Wade freaking Miley is tossing no-hitters. That kind of thing.
Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.