Howdy, Razzballers. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Don’t see much reason for an intro at this point. You’re here for injury/COVID updates, so here yinz go, in no particular order whatsoever:

Firstly, I wanna talk about my new baby boi Carlos Carrasco. I’m trying to get as many shares as possible, because while everyone else is taking SPs in the very early rounds, I’m sitting back and taking ace upside guys like Cookie. Maybe not elite ace upside, but still ace upside for fantasy purposes, if’n you ask me. He’s dealing with *GASP* elbow soreness. That always sucks to hear. Mets manager Luis Rojas said it’s “normal” this time of year for Cookie to have a sore elbow. Cookie himself was said to have said that. So we’ll see. I need every ounce of optimism right now, as my Cookie shares have already gotten underway. For now, it’s not serious. Doesn’t mean it won’t be.

Lorenzo Cain has been a sneaky draft pick lately, but he’s been shut down entirely due to a lingering quad issue I mentioned last week. Things have gotten a lil’ bit more dire since then. I say “shut down entirely,” but really that means he’s not playing games and not hitting. He is running and fielding, per recent reports. Dunno about you, but when I see quad issues for an almost-35-year-old whom I drafted for speed, I start to worry. A lot. Jackie Bradley figured to see a lot of time anyway, but now you can bet your booty he’ll be out there as much as possible. Would think Avisail Garcia sees more action if Cain is out any length of time, as well.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been dealing with some kind of illness, but he went through a full workout Thursday and returned to the lineup yesterday. Hit himself a big ol’ ding dong. No, not that kinda ding dong, ya ding dong! He was suffering from flu-like symptoms, but the team assured everyone it wasn’t COVID. Who knows, but sounds like he’s over it.

Fellow Padre Trent Grisham tweaked his hamstring on Thursday. Reports indicate a “slight” strain and that they hope it’s just a one-week type thing, but I’d be worried if I owned him. Might be a good idea to stash Jurickson Profar away…yeah, let’s upgrade that statement: it’s definitely a good idea.

Sounds like Cody Bellinger will make his ST debut on Tuesday. Beli faced live pitching on Wednesday, and it’s apparently all systems go. Opening Day status isn’t in question unless there’s some sort of setback between now and then. Just still can’t believe the dude had to have surgery cuz he celebrated too hard lol.

The massively-hyped rookie phenom Jarred Kelenic is recovering nicely from his knee injury. Sounds like he should be on track to play by April. Oh, what is that? You’re asking if that’s in line with any service time manipulation that could maybe possibly potentially (read: probably) going on? Yes, indeed it is!

Orioles [probable] closer Hunter Harvey left Friday’s game with an oblique injury. Ruh roh. Ruhhhhh roh. Get you some Tanner Scott action, or even some Cesar Valdez action, cuz obliques can keep a guy out for a good while.

Stephen Strasburg looked hella good in his spring debut, fanning four in 1.2 scoreless innings. My TGFBI team is very, very pleased to hear this. I mean, duh, it’s just on ST outing. And if you’ve been reading my stuff consistently, you’ll remember I’ve said I never draft Stras. This is the very first time I’ve ever drafted him, but TGFBI is a big roto tourney, and to stay competitive in Ws and Ks, I had to take the guy with true ace upside after fading SP the first few rounds. The pickins were slim, I tell you!

George Springer owners were probably mildly freaking out about his being scratched due to abdominal tightness, but then he came back Thursday as the leadoff man and smacked a homer. All good.

Xander Bogaerts debuted yesterday. I was never worried, but I just wanted to reassure you he’s gonna be just fine and dandy.

Finally we got some Kirby Yates action. He debuted Thursday to the tune of two hits and no Ks (also no walks at least!) in one inning. Certainly not inspiring, but the dude ain’t pitched in a long, long time. I’m encouraged by no walks, even if it’s just a single inning. He’s got mad upside mixed with mad downside.

Rangers reliever Jonathan Hernandez is set to miss a pretty significant amount of time after suffering a low-grade UCL sprain. You know, that ligament that leads to Tommy John. Sounds like he’s avoided surgery, but it will still be a decently long road to recovery. Hernandez won’t throw at all for, like, a month, and then he’ll have to build back up to full strength. Jose Leclerc was probably the closer anyway, but now he won’t have Hernandez breathing down his neck (Hernandez posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.03 WHIP last season, earning five holds).

Are you interested in having Jon Lester on your team? I’m not, unless we’re talking, like, a 30-team league with realistic rosters. But he had thyroid surgery to fix an ailment that was tiring him out. He says he already feels more energetic, but you can probably imagine that a pro athlete is gonna say whatever gets him on the field/court/rink/etc. Worth watching, I suppose. Maybe he does regain some FB velocity after all and turn into useful fantasy arm.

Alex Bregman sounds like he’s getting pretty close to a return. Same goes for Yordan Alvarez, who is scheduled to play tomorrow. So there’s good news. Bad news for Forrest Whitley dynasty owners: he’ll have Tommy John surgery. Ruh roh.

Zack Britton isn’t on a lot of fantasy radars outside of leagues that count holds, but he’ll have surgery on his elbow and will likely be out until June at the very earliest. If you need holds from NYY RPs, take a look at Chad GreenJustin Wilson, and maybe even Darren O’Day.

Brent Honeywell dynasty owners will be glad to hear that he’s still chugging along just nicely in all his bullpen sessions and should be moving up to live batting practice very soon.

Byron Buxton is hurt again! Except kinda not really. I mean, biting into a steak bone (I mean, either he directly hit bone or was eating the most well-done steak in human history) and breaking your tooth and having a root canal definitely hurts, but it’s not gonna keep him outta action very long. Just a crazy, freaky, super-Byron-Buxton-type injury. Any of y’all play Out of the Park Baseball? One of those types of injuries.

Sean Murphy is still without a timetable for a return, but he has been taking batting practice at least.

Fellow A’s member Frankie Montas does have a timetable for a return, and that return is tomorrow! Montas had a trashy, throw-it-all-the-way-out-the-window 2020 season, but I’m willing to bet he rights the ship in 2021.

Miles Mikolas got his shoulder looked at again. I don’t like hearing that shoulders need more looking at. No bad news came from it; Shildt said “early returns are favorable.” Mikolas is only viable in deep leagues, regardless.

Luis Severino threw a bullpen session this week. Still a ways away from a return, but it’s nice to see he’s slinging baseballs again.

Yasmani Grandal is still recovering from his knee injury. Not much to report, but he did take swings in a simulated game a couple days ago. Progress!

Progress as well for Brandon Belt, who’s got a nagging heel injury. Took batting practice Friday. Still not 100% that he’ll be ready for the start of the season, but I can’t imagine he misses much time beyond that. Dude went ham last year, posting a Statcast page that would make a bull charge straight into your computer screen. Hopefully that can carry over, and hopefully the man can stay healthy. Big time late 1B value here if those hold true, especially in OBP leagues. I mean, last year’s .425 probably ain’t holding up, but it should be great given his low-ish K rate and lovely BB rate.

Joey Votto tested positive for COVID-19. He’ll be out at least 10 days, but if he turns out to have some serious symptoms then it could be longer. He made some mechanical changes last year, and the power numbers returned. GAB is a dandy of a hitter’s park, so if those changes carry over into a full season, then Old Man Votto could be in for a 2021 resurgence. We also don’t know how COVID will impact him, cuz no offense, but he’s no spring chicken, and the likes of Yoan Moncada and Austin Meadows were severely impacted due to COVID complications last year.

Mike Soroka tossed a couple simulated innings recently. Reports say he looked good but that his velocity isn’t where it needs to be, which is to be expected. Dude hasn’t played in a real setting in several months. He’s not especially close to a return, however, but at least the recovery is coming along as planned so far.

The Reds bullpen is a mess right now. Amir Garrett has been dealing with a sore forearm and hasn’t pitched at all yet (though he did toss a bullpen session on Thursday). Lucas Sims still hasn’t progressed to live pitching, and Sean Doolittle is pitching poorly. Tejay Antone may just have to be the de facto closer for a while, even though he’s battling for a rotation spot with Michael Lorenzen, who is also pitching poorly. Good news for us Cardinals fans, I guess!

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.