Howdy doo, Razzballeroos!

It’s only a little over two weeks until Opening Day! In the interim, I hope you are enjoying your drafts, spring training, and the World Baseball Classic.

Speaking of the WBC, former Detroit Tigers organization player Luis Castillo made this incredible catch for Panama. My bones hurt watching it, but there are no reports of either player being injured.


Back in the land of the MLB, the emergency room has been busy. We got sprains, strains, and everything in between rolling in on a stretcher.

One of the more notable injuries reported this week is Carlos Rodón’s mild forearm strain. The injury was announced after Rodón’s spring training debut with the Yankees last Sunday where he allowed 5 ER in 2 IP. There are more recent reports that the Yankees purposefully asked Rodón to keep his velocity low. Regardless of the reason for a lower velocity, there is already a lot of buzz that the injury may be more serious. One thing is certain: Rodón will start the season on the IL. However, the timetables shared vary.

Rodón has a history of arm issues, and those injuries kept him on the struggle bus for the first four years of his MLB career. He had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and did not return until the end of the 2020 season. It was not until 2021 that he had his breakout season.

Last May, Rodón experienced similar forearm tightness and was able to recover. So while it may be difficult to avoid considering the worst case scenario, it is conceivable that he will be just fine. But I still ain’t drafting him.

It’s a tough time in Yankee Town, but let’s move on to other people and places.

Since the last edition of Ambulance Chasers, James Paxton and Nick Gordon have been moved from day-to-day to the fo’real IL. Last week, Razzballer Sweatpants Nation mentioned they thought it was funny I had Jimmy Paxton as day-to-day. Well, Mr. Nation, it’s official: Paxton has left the building.

(Editor’s Note: We have four spots left in an RCL draft happening tonight at 8 ET, $10 league, pays top two, take on MattTruss and others, click HERE to join.)

Wilyer Abreu (OF)

The Boston prospect strained a left hamstring while running to first during a spring training game against the Marlins. Abreu was vying to make his MLB debut this year but is another victim of the hamstring bug that is going around the Red Sox roster and affected James Paxton and Connor Wong.

Abreu hit a grand slam against the Phillies last week, but for now, you can expect to see Adam Duvall (.228/.288/.454), Alex Verdugo (.289/.345/.437), and Masataka Yoshida (.302/.379/.431) on Opening Day.

Kolby Allard (SP)

The Atlanta starting pitcher will begin the season on the IL  after winding up with a grade 2 left oblique strain. The timetable for Allard’s return is uncertain, but it could be anywhere from 5-10 days and up to 1-2 months.

The Braves current rotation is Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider, and Ian Anderson. Kyle Wright has been recovering from a shoulder injury but is expected to return to action by Opening Day.

Harrison Bader (OF)

The Yankees CF is expected to miss the beginning of the season with an oblique strain. This means Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks may be moved to CF and Giancarlo Stanton may see more early playing time in OF. Oswaldo Cabrera might also get some playing time in the OF as well.

Sean Bouchard (OF)

Reactions to injuries are a personal matter. You may be grossed out by puke? Me? I am more of a poop-grossed-out person. Anyway, this injury made me want to hurl a little: Sean Bouchard is out for the season with a ruptured biceps (left distal biceps muscle tear).

Bouchard was vying for some starts with the Rockies. Currently, Yonathan Daza, Charlie Blackmon, and Kris Bryant are expected to start in the outfield and hit in the first three spots, respectively. The Rockies may continue to be in flux with a game of musical chairs figuring out their starting roster while managing the IL.

Jarlín García (RP)

The Pittsburgh lefty RP will be out for weeks with arm tightness even though initial the MRI shows no significant damage.

Jose Hernandez is the only left-handed option left in the bullpen for the Pirates, but his spring training performance shows he needs to work out some kinks before being fantasy roster worthy.

Tony Gonsolin (SP)

The Dodgers starting pitcher sustained a left ankle sprain during practice. Reports have indicated that the injury is not serious, but it will take some time to heal. This means Gonsolin is questionable for Opening Day.

If Gonsolin is unable to play by Opening Day, Michael Grove, Andre Jackson, and Ryan Pepiot are on the roster and are potential replacements. Dave Roberts has been complimentary of Pepiot’s performance recently. Pepiot has focused on improving his command in the off-season. In 2022, his FIP across 36.1 IP was 5.42. There is room for improvement, and Steam predicts Pepiot’s FIP will improve to 4.29 this season.

Tyler Nevin (INF)

Nevin, who is competing for Detroit’s 3B spot, tapped out of batting practice with a strained oblique. The oblique strain is mild, but Nevin is projected to begin the season on the IL. It was possible Nick Maton would wind up taking the 3B spot even before Nevin’s injury. In 2022, Maton slashed .250/.341/.514 in 85 PA compared to Nevin’s .197/.299/.261 across 184 PA.

While Nevin has had a little more experience at the plate recently, it is reasonable that Maton could get the start at 3B with Nevin possibly starting at 1B if he is better for Opening Day.

Another interesting name in the infield mix is prospect Andre Lipcius. He played 1B/3B/SS at the University of Tennessee, where he majored in…GET THIS…nuclear engineering.

Andrew Painter (SP)

The Phillies SP has been diagnosed with a right sprained ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) strain. This means Painter is going to be out for a while. While Tommy John surgery is not on the table yet, Painter will not be throwing for four weeks to avoid any further damage that might require Tommy John surgery to fix.

While it stinks, Painter is only 19. So, he has time to heal and grow, but it is possible we will not see him play much, if at all, in the immediate future.

David Peterson (SP)

The Mets SP is sidelined with a foot contusion after a ball was batted into his left foot. Peterson is expected to be back in action by Opening Day which works out with José Quintana being on the IL (see next discussion).

Peterson’s injury cleared the path for rookie Jose Butto to play against Venezuela, his home country, during an exhibition game. However, Butto’s performance was lackluster, and he isn’t expected to make the roster.

José Quintana (SP)

The Mets SP Quintana is visiting the IL with a stress fracture of the ribs. The timeline for return is currently uncertain, but it is safe to presume Quintana will miss a few early regular season games. Replacements might be the aforementioned David Peterson being the favorite with other possibilities being Joey Lucchesi or Tylor Megill.

Carlos Rodón (SP)

I covered this at the beginning of the article, but I did not share the line-up impacts of Rodón’s injury. There is no doubt about it: the Yankees’ rotation is vulnerable. Currently, Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes (who has been recovering from a hamstring injury), Luis Severino (who has a history of shoulder issues), Domingo Germán (who recently dealt with shoulder impingement syndrome), and Clark Schmidt (has recurring elbow issues) are the expected starting pitchers. The last three projected starters have had limited appearances over the past few years.

So, uh, yeah. Maybe avoid that group of pitchers for a bit.

Leody Taveras (OF)

Taveras, Texas CF,  is dealing with low-grade strained oblique sustained during batting practice. Although the strain is low-grade, Taveras will likely be out for a few weeks. Bubba Thompson is the most likely replacement for Taveras in the interim.

Currently, Thompson is not the greatest hitter, but he could be a great addition to your line-up if you need more steals. In 2022, he stole 18 bases in just 55 games and 181 PA. A good benchmark to compare that to is the 2022 SB leader Jon Berti who stole 41 bases in 102 games and across 404 plate appearances. You do the math!

Justin Turner (1B/3B/DH)

Turner is out after getting hit by a pitch from Detroit’s Matt Manning. The injury on Turner’s face required 16 stitches. Incredibly, the damage only affects soft tissues and no bones. Turner started doing light activity again on Monday and returned to the field on Thursday.

It is still uncertain if Turner will play on Opening Day, but if he is not, early projections show Raimel Tapia or Jarren Duran taking Turner’s spot. The former Blue Jay Tapia has an OPS of 1.294 in spring training. Tapia, Durran, and Rob Refsnyder are all vying for the last outfield spot on the Red Sox Opening Day roster.

Injury Watch and Updates

Here is a non-exhaustive list of a few players with injuries that are currently considered day-to-day at the time this article was written:

  • Yandy Díaz (3B, TBR), wrist
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B, PIT), thumb
  • Jack Larsen (OF, SEA) hamate
  • Cade Marlowe (OF, SEA), oblique
  • Garrett Mitchell (OF, MIL), hamstring
  • Ranger Suárez (SP, PHI), forearm tightness
  • Matt Vierling (OF, DET), knee strain

…and here are a few players with improving injuries:

  • Yordan Álvarez (DH, HOU), swinging
  • Bryce Harper (OF, PHI), tee’ing off
  • James Kaprielian (SP, OAK), throwing in simulations
  • Jose Miranda (3B, MIN), light throwing
  • Joe Musgrove (SP, SDP), playing catch
  • Drew Pomeranz (SP, SDP), facing hitters in BP
  • Juan Soto (OF, SDP), playing again post-calf injury
  • Pavin Smith (OF, ARI), expected to return soon
  • Vlad…he’s just fine:

Folks, my tires are going bald after chasing the ambulances back and forth this week. If the car is still broken next week, I’ll switch to my Razor scooter.

Bring out your dead! Have you had any tough decisions to make with your drafts and rosters? Have you taken any risks around injured or recovering players? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.