*rolls up piece up paper like a small horn* IT IS ALMOST OPENING DAY! How are we feeling?

I have been preparing for Opening Day by crafting this piece and diligently checking how to spell ‘Cincinnati’ throughout the course of this post.

My RazzSlam draft finally came to a close. My RCL team is still in a state of limbo from my autodraft nightmare. I thought JD Martinez getting signed to the Mets would resolve some of my RCL woes, but he is starting off the season in the minors. I am currently in “I can fix him,” mode with my team.

I Can Fix Him," Says Woman Who Is Worse | Know Your Meme

I’ll also be headed to Opening Day with my brother and zero expectations to celebrate our White Sox vs. Tigers rivalry.

Speaking of the White Sox….

Notable Injuries

AL Central

Eloy Jiménez (OF, CWS) foot: Death. Taxes. Eloy getting injured during spring training. Jiménez is dealing with a foot contusion after a ball was fouled off his foot. Luckily, the injury should not affect him by Opening Day.

Max Kepler (OF, MIN), pectoral: Kepler experienced pectoral tightness earlier this week. No updates were given about how he may have gotten the injury. An MRI cleared any serious concerns, and Kepler should be available Opening Day. Twins No. 4 prospect Gabriel Gonzalez played in Kepler’s spot. In 2023, Gonzalez slashed .298/.361/.837 with 18 HR and 84 RBIs in the minors.

AL West

Luis Rengifo (UTIL, LAA), hamstring: Rengifo may be avoiding bicep troubles, but his hamstring has been troublesome during spring training. He experienced hamstring inflammation earlier in the week. Luckily, he has been cleared to DH and should be back in action today.

NL Central

Cincinnati Pitchers: Brandon Williamson (SP) is having shoulder issues that will leave him on the IL for Opening Day. Instead, it will be Andrew Abbott on the starting roster. In 2023, Abbott pitched in 109.1 innings and finished with a 3.87 ERA with a 9.88 K/9 and 2.2 WAR (with 4.20 FIP). He did have a .302 BABIP last season. Steamer and ZiPS project a regression for Abbott. There is some good news though. Nick Martinez (RP) who has dealt with rib issues is expected to be ready for Opening Day. In other Nick news, Nick Lodolo (SP) has a projected return date of April 10.

Matt McLain (2B/SS, CIN), shoulder: Last week, we learned the Reds No. 3 prospect Edwin Arroyo (SS) had season-ending surgery to repair his labrum. This week we learned that Matt McLain may also need shoulder surgery after an MRI showed more serious damage to his shoulder. While McLain seeks a second opinion and nothing is official, the Reds moved to address the issue by acquiring utility player Santiago Espinal from Toronto. Espinal is having a slow start in spring training after coming off his slowest season thus far, but a change of scenery may work in his favor. I am not sure about the scenery in Cincinnati, but they do have that crazy chili.

NL East

Kenley Jansen (RP, BOS), back: Kenley Jansen was shut down with lat soreness and was shut down again with back soreness. Luckily, Jansen was back in action on Thursday with two strikeouts. Jansen will need to ramp up over the next week to make the Opening Day roster. The Red Sox also have Chris Martin, who is projected to be the bullpen leader, ramping up on a similar timeline as well.

DJ LeMahieu (1B/3B, NYY), foot: Like Eloy, DJ LeMahieu fouled a ball off his foot and received a pretty serious bone bruise that leaves his status for Opening Day uncertain. Oswaldo Cabrera could step in if LeMahieu is not ready for Opening Day. Cabrera is not a direct answer to LeMahieu at the moment. In 2023, he hit 5 HR and 29 RBIs in 298 AB putting him at .211/.275/.574. However, Cabrera shared with the media that he worked on his swing in the off season. So, he is someone to keep an eye on.

NL West

Los Angles Dodgers Pitchers: I couldn’t resist a good chili joke, but the Dodgers are also experiencing a bit of pitching turmoil. Emmet Sheehan (SP) will not be available for Open Day because of forearm inflammation. Brusdar Graterol (RP) will also start the season on the IL with shoulder inflammation. Annnnnd Blake Treinen (RP) took a line drive to the chest which luckily resulted only in a bruised lung, which still sounds horrific. Landon Knack was recalled from the minors to cover for Treinen. In the minors in 2023, Knack had a 2.51 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 100.1 IP, but he has yet to play a regular season game in the majors.

Walker Buehler (SP) was placed on the IL for elbow issues. While Buehler isn’t expected back for 1-2 months, reports shared he hit 97 mph with his fastball earlier this week.

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP, ARI), lat: Rodriguez experienced some lat tightness during a warm up session earlier this week. It’s still possible that E-Rod will be fine in time for Opening Day, but it is not guaranteed with the Diamondbacks sharing that Rodriguez may need an MRI.

Injury Updates

Boom bang crash, here is your lightning round injury updates. If I miss any or you want to know more information, hit me up in the comments.

  • David Bednar (RP, PIT), lat: threw a scoreless inning on Thursday. Opening Day uncertain.
  • Matt Brash (RP, SEA), elbow: throwing off the mound.
  • Gerrit Cole (SP, NYY), elbow: won’t throw for 3-4 weeks. Check out Will Warren.
  • Kyle Finnegan (RP, BOS), back: playing again. Fine for Opening Day.
  • Kevin Gausman (SP, TOR), shoulder: pitching Monday to determine Opening Day status.
  • Sonny Gray (SP, STL), hamstring: was supposed to pitch in a minor league game yesterday but has been delayed because of poor weather conditions.
  • Bryce Harper (1B, PHI), back: supposedly playing today.
  • Danny Jansen (C, TOR), hand: resuming throwing this weekend.
  • Josh Lowe (OF, TBR), oblique: starting Opening Day on the IL.
  • Alek Manoah (SP, TOR), shoulder: throwing BP but won’t be ready for Opening Day.
  • Jordan Romano (SP, TOR), elbow: should resume throwing soon. Opening Day status uncertain.
  • Corey Seager (SS, TEX), sports hernia: took live BP Monday; looking good for Opening Day so far (along with Josh Jung).
  • Max Scherzer (SP, TEX), back: resumed baseball activities and expects a June return.
  • Kodai Senga (SP, NYM), shoulder: scheduled to begin throwing again next week.

As baseball ramps up, so will the injuries. I will see you here next week to share some bad news and some opportunities to solve it. We’re so back, friends!

How does your roster look as we head towards Opening Day? Let me know here or over on Twitter (@Wh1sk3r_B1scu1t) and/or Bluesky (@keelin12ft.bsky.social).

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Mike Couillard
1 month ago

Keelin’s in midseason headline form.

buster moon
buster moon
1 month ago

What’s the latest on Gavin Williams? Will he be pitching in April? Thanks.

The Tater
The Tater
1 month ago

What’s the latest on Gavin Williams?? thanks.

1 month ago

Thanks for the updates! Your take on Jhoan Duran to IL?

1 month ago

I think Luis Gil is the man in NY for the 5th spot. He’s throwing 97-99mph.

1 month ago

Great stuff. My home leagues draft today & tomorrow. This is gonna help. Thks.

1 month ago

Kyle Finnegan RP WAS