We’re getting close to the re-launched opening day, so any serious knocks guys are picking up in camp now are going to start impacting playing time. That also holds true for new, positive, Covid tests that might pop up.
Eduardo Rodriguez is currently on a throwing program away from the team as he awaits clearance from a positive Covid test. From a physical standpoint, this is all good news, but he’s still up in the air until he tests negative.
One guy not back yet is Freddie Freeman. His case was originally thought to be more serious, and he has not been cleared to participate yet. The Braves think there’s a chance at opening day for him, but at this point, if he’s still feeling symptoms, I’d put that timeframe at doubtful.
Alvarez and Chapman have both been put on the IL, signaling their cases may be a bit more severe than others. I’d expect Zack Britton to get the first shot at saves if Chapman can’t get cleared for a bit. On the Astros front, you’d have to imagine Kyle Tucker has an easier path to ABs with Alvarez sidelined.
On the non Covid front:
Stop the presses, Byron Buxton got hurt again. Buxton was carted off the field this week, after what seemed like a pretty serious leg injury. He’s seemed to escape something gruesome and is listed as out with a foot injury. Rocco Baldelli has said he hopes Buxton will be available for opening day. Given Buxton’s track record and the complexity of foot issues, I wouldn’t be hopeful.
Speaking of injury prone outfielders, David Dahl is dealing with a core issue. That sound you hear is all of the Sam Hilliard owners in your neighborhood lighting off their leftover 4th of July fireworks.
Aaron Judge continues to be a fixture of these updates….this time with a neck problem that kept him out of a couple intersquad games last week. He’s back in the lineup and mashed a couple bombs this week so, keep your fingers crossed he holds up long enough for me to not write about him once or twice this year.
Jacob deGrom spooked everyone by leaving his intersquad start early with back tightness. He had an MRI that came up negative, which is good news, but expect the Mets to proceed cautiously here. He could certainly miss a start or two at the beginning of the year, or maybe just be on a pitch limit while he loosens things back up.
Anthony Rizzo is also having back tightness. He’s trying to work back from it after resting most of last week. He bunted and did some other light exercise on Thursday. If he misses time, Victor Caratini will probably get some ABs at 1B.
And finally a quick around the horn on some other issues: Christian Walker and Mike Moustakas are both dealing with groin strains, but should be fine for opening day. Willie Calhoun has a hip injury and won’t be ready for opening day…..those Nick Solak fliers in April look like they’re going to pay off folks. Brandon Belt is hitting and fielding on his own this week, nursing a heel injury. He’s questionable for opening day, but looks like he’s on track at this point.
We’re heading into the home stretch here before the season kicks off again. Cross your fingers, say your prayers, and hope that you don’t catch any positive tests or negative bumps this week.