How are we doing, Razzballers?
I hope you are enjoying your last weekend before Opening Day 2023!
I don’t know about you, but I always feel a little weird in the days leading up to baseball season. It never feels quite real until Opening Day Eve.
I ramped up the party a little early this year by visiting the WBC earlier this week. I caught USA-Cuba and Japan-Mexico. It was like watching fantasy baseball come alive as some of the best-of-the-best faced off against each other.
— kee 4 #3 (@Keelin_12ft) March 21, 2023
As a White Sox fan, I am not super excited for the regular season, but I will put that leftover WBC energy into my leagues.
I imagine most of your drafts are complete at this point. Now it is up to you to work through the injuries, and there were some big ones to consider this week. Let’s go ahead and roll that beautiful bean footage.
Latest Additions to The IL
José Altuve (HOU, 2B)
Altuve will be out 8-10 weeks after sustaining a fractured thumb in the WBC game against the USA. The Astros have announced that David Hensley and Mauricio Dubón will platoon second base but would keep options from other teams open.
At 6’6″, Hensley is quite different from Altuve in at least one way. Hensley has been a little sluggish in spring training compared to his 2022 season performance where he slashed .345/.441/.586 and was used as the DH in some World Series games.
Dubón has also been sluggish in spring training as well. In 2022, he slashed .214/.252/.313.
You never know! Maybe one of them will have a breakout or something. However, I am sure fantasy managers and Astros fans alike will miss Altuve. At least Yordan Álvarez is back!
Altuve broke his thumb! pic.twitter.com/tFKG0vfA2B
— The Bianchi ? (@SunlightSilver) March 19, 2023
Xander Bogaerts (SPD, SS)
Bogaerts has been out with wrist discomfort. He is not technically on the IL yet, but I wanted to write him up because this seems to be, at a minimum, an orange flag. Bogaerts received a cortisone shot and a splint, and he is expected to return to play in a few days.
The Padres have SS depth with Tatís Jr. ramping up and Ha-Seong Kim able to step in. With Tatís Jr. back in action, it is definitely far from the worst case scenario for the Dads, but you never know with these guys.
Cade Cavalli (WSN, SP)
In more tough prospect news, Cavalli will require Tommy John surgery in 2023. Cavalli was supposed to be a big piece of the Nationals starting rotation, but the Nationals are left lacking. Chad Kuhl replaced Cavalli at spring training, and it looks like that will continue into the regular season.
Kuhl is coming off his worst season where he finished with -0.1 WAR, 5.72 ERA, and 1.55 WHIP. His spring training outings have been very slightly better, but you can feel safe skipping this one.
Patrick Corbin is officially named Opening Day starter for the Nationals. It’s been lined up that way for a few weeks now, with Josiah Gray, MacKenzie Gore, Trevor Williams and (probably) Chad Kuhl to follow.
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 24, 2023
Rhys Hoskins (PHI, 1B)
In a major league bummer for the Phillies and Rhys Hoskins, Hoskins is out for the 2023 season with a torn left ACL sustained while fielding a grounder. Darick Hall has been tapped to replace Hoskins.
Hall had his first big league starts with the Phillies in 2022. He was an important piece of the Phillies roster during Bryce Harper’s absence, but his usual position at 1B was occupied by Hoskins. In spring training, with 52 PA, Hall has had 5 HR and slashing .319/.385/.681. So, if you want to try something new, Hall could be a very interesting player to have in your reserves. One downside to Hall, a lefty, is that he does not have a great minor league track record with LHPs. It looks like he is catching on pretty quickly though.
Darick Hall now goes from a Harper fill-in to someone that can make an impact all season if he keeps his K rate in check.
Spring: 52 PA, .319/.385/.681, 5 HR, 9.6% BB, 15.4% K
2022: 142 PA, .250/.282/.522, 9 HR, 17.4% BRL, 44.6% HH
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) March 24, 2023
Raisel Iglesias (ATL, RP)
Iglesias will not be throwing for the next week while healing from shoulder inflammation. JKJ has A.J. Minter, Joe Jiménez, and Collin McHugh in his most updated version of the Razzball Bullpen Chart. Minter has had a rough spring training with a 5.04 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, and one save in 3.1 IP. Jiménez has had a slightly better spring, but your picks might be better served elsewhere.
— JKJ (@jkj0787) March 23, 2023
Austin Nola (SDP, C)
Nola sustained a fractured nose after being HBP by Michael Fulmer. Ouch! Nola has returned to practice and is expected to be ready by Opening Day. So, if you have Nola, you can rest easy for now.
Here’s a great site to see – Austin Nola catching bullpen today. He continues to progress in all baseball activities in recovery from FB to nose. In game next couple of days. pic.twitter.com/uBYw1eU7ex
— Bob Scanlan (@heyscan) March 24, 2023
Jorge Polanco (MIN, 2B)
Polanco, the Minnesota 2B, is out with knee soreness and not expected to start on Opening Day. Nick Gordon is expected to play in Polanco’s place at 2B. Trevor Larnach, Kyle Farmer, and Donovan Solano could also become key pieces while Polanco and Alex Kirilloff are on the mend.
Larnach is having himself a spring training and has become a viable option for the Twins and rosters alike.
Trevor Larnach is 4-for-4 and finishes his afternoon a triple shy of the legendary Spring Training cycle.
You've got to think that with today's injury news, Larnach is in a pretty good place to make the team.
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) March 22, 2023
Juan Soto (SDP, OF)
Soto is out with a mild strained oblique, but like his teammate Austin Nola, he is expected to be back for Opening Day. Phew.
2ND DECK SHOT FOR JUAN SOTO! ??
Dominican Republic is rolling! pic.twitter.com/RHrncFZPzP
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 13, 2023
Andrew Vaughn (CWS, 1B)
The Sox starting 1B has been out with lower back soreness. He is currently playing in the minors. In 11 spring training games, Vaughn had gone .323/.364/.516. I have not been able to find a timetable for return yet, but Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger are potential 1B options should Vaughn’s injury continue. Then again, Sheets may not be a White Sox for much longer as the White Sox fill out roster positions. If something happened with Burger, Hanser Alberto could be another option. In spring training, Alberto has 2 HR and a .459 BA, and a .474 OBP.
He had a couple of at-bats against Garrett Crochet in the latter's live BP as well.
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) March 24, 2023
Adam Wainright (STL, SP)
Wainwright may be out several weeks with a strained groin he suffered during a workout while at the WBC. Wainright’s injury makes way for Jake Woodford who, in 17.2 IP, has a 2.04 ERA and 18 SO.
5 scoreless frames to go along with 7 strikeouts!
Other Injuries and Injury Updates
Here are some players that are also on the IL right now:
- Adam Engel (SDP, OF), strained hamstring
- Matt Foster (CWS, RP), forearm
- Nick Fortes (MIA, C), knee tendinitis
- Mychal Givens (CHC, RP), knee soreness
- Brandon Hughes (CHC, RP), knee discomfort
- Carson Kelly (ARI, C), fractured forearm
- Michael Lorenzen (DET, SP), strained groin
- Daniel Lynch (KCR, SP), shoulder discomfort
- Glenn Otto (TEX, SP), lat tendinitis
- Joely Rodríguez (BOS, SP), strained oblique
- Wilking Rodriguez (STL, RP), shoulder discomfort
There are some other players who are day-to-day:
- Hunter Brown (HOU, SP), lower back
- J.P. Crawford (SEA, SS), sore foot
- Nico Hoerner (CHC, 2B), biceps
- Kenley Jansen (BOS, RP), undetermined at time of publication
- José Marte (LAA, RP), elbow
- Steven Okert (MIA, RP), hip
- Eddie Rosario (ATL, OF), back
- Kyle Tucker (HOU, OF), thumb
- Ramón Urías (BAL, 2B), thumb
Finally, here are some players that have returned from injury or will be soon:
- Brayan Bello (BOS, SP), forearm: rehabbing in the minors
- C.J. Cron (COL, 1B), back: batting and reportedly had a full workout Friday, March 24
- Jarred Kelenic (SEA, OF), quad: back in the lineup.
- Max Kepler (MIN, OF), hip: rehabbing in the minors
- Brandon Marsh (PHI, OF), finger: returned to the line-up
- Brandon Nimmo (NYM, OF), low grade ankle and knee sprain: rehabbing in the minors; should be back Opening Day
- Garrett Whitlock (BOS, SP), hip: playing in the minors
What casualties are you managing this week? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter: @keelin_12ft.