Just like Modest Mouse, this is good news for people who love bad news! Back today — and every Sunday of the season— is the weekly injury report. Here is this week’s injuries and health situations to keep an eye on.
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: Cutch was removed after being plunked on the elbow from an errant Julio Teheran pitch in the first inning of Saturday’s game. An initial X-ray came back negative, though the club is set to reevaluate him at some point today. Over the past three seasons McCutchen has been struck by 28 pitches, tied for eighth most in the majors. Despite being pelted by inside pitches, he’s managed to appear in more than 145 games every season since 2010 and has been a durable and reliable offensive force. If Cutch does go on the disabled list, some time off for him to rest his legs may not be the worst thing as he’s recorded just four steals on six attempts. It’s possible he’s simply running less due to his spot in the lineup, but last year he nabbed 21 bags. The Pirates haven’t changed their overall run philosophy as heading into Saturday they’ve attempted the sixth most steals so the running game appears to be up to Cutch.
Robinson Cano, Mariners: Like McCutchen, Cano was removed from his game yesterday. Unlike McCutchen, Cano wasn’t batting when he was hit by the ball. During the Angels warm up period in the seventh inning, a throw went wild and struck Cano in the head as he stood in the dugout. Willie Bloomquist stepped in to take Cano’s place, though that may not be so bad given Cano’s current .244/.281/.352 line is pretty close to Bloomquist’s career triple slash of .269/.316/.342. Given the knot on Cano’s head, it seems likely for the M’s to play it safe with him. Count on him undergoing some tests and possibly sitting out their day game today.
Matt Moore, Rays: Pop the champagne! Matt Moore completed his final rehab start yesterday in Triple-A, tossing five-plus innings and sitting down eight opposing batters on strikes. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks, but is still slated to make his start with the Rays on Wednesday against the visiting Indians. Lots of strikeouts and more than his share of walks is sort of Moore’s thing, and if Moore’s Law wasn’t already a different thing, I would nominate any eight K, 3 BB start to be a Moore’s Law start.
Tim Lincecum, Giants: Sticking with the struck-by-a-ball theme, Lincecum was removed from his start after just 1 2/3 innings due to being drilled in the right arm by a line drive off of DJ LeMahieu‘s bat. X-rays came back negative and the team is calling it a bone contusion right now, but it’s possible he’ll miss his next start.
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers: This little Puiggie found himself out of the starting lineup once again yesterday, marking four consecutive games where he was limited to pinch-hitting. The Dodgers were simply letting the blister on his left hand heal up sufficiently, and now seem ready to hand him the keys to right field once again. Count him starting for the rest of the week.
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks: Arizona is just about ready to activate Corbin after his six inning, 87 pitch outing on Friday in Double-A Mobile. He’ll probably require just one final tune up start at Triple-A before rejoining the D-backs. For a Tommy John guy, Corbin is likely to return to action barely 14 months after his surgery.
Bryce Harper, Nationals: A mix of tightness in Harper’s right hamstring and rainouts have kept him out of action since June 24. I’d count on him returning to action today and would be fine starting him in weekly leagues.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners: The M’s are looking for Iwakuma to throw at least one more rehab start before being reevaluated, let alone activated. A lat strain has kept the 34-year-old out since April 21, and I for one am ready to welcome Iwakuma back into my rotation. His less than stellar 6.61 ERA masks a 3.85 FIP and I’d make a buy-low type offer on anyone who owns him in your leagues.
Jorge Soler, Cubs: Count on seeing Soler back in action for the Cubs before the All-Star Break. Out since early this month due to a left ankle sprain, the club has him tabbed to begin his rehab assignment this week. With the ASG happening on July 14, that should give Soler at least a week, maybe more, of game action before he gets another breather.
Daniel Murphy, Mets: It seems as though Murphy will be rejoining the Mets tomorrow and is set to be activated on Tuesday after missing more than three weeks with a left quad strain. The 30-year-old infielder’s bat has been missed (don’t laugh) in the New York lineup. Prior to Saturday, the team was hitting a collective .231/.289/.369 in June. Before he was placed on the DL, Murphy was hitting mostly cleanup (again, don’t laugh).
Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees: Ellsbury worked out with the Yankees yesterday and will do so again today. If things go well for him, the team is optimistic he’ll be be able to begin a rehab assignment on Monday and possibly be activated later this week. He’s missed more than five weeks with a right knee sprain but barring any setbacks, he should be inserted into weekly lineups beginning next week.
Williams Perez, Braves: Getting back to our theme of baseballs being directly involved in injuries, the Braves lost Perez to the 15-day disabled list after he took a comebacker to the left foot. It’s possible Manny Banuelos could take Perez’s rotation spot, considering Manny’s solid Triple-A numbers. With a 2.03 ERA backed by a 3.29 FIP — though a modest 2.0 strikeout to walk ratio isn’t inspiring — I expect to see Banuelos get the call soon.
Yordano Ventura, Royals: Sidelined with inflammation of his ulnar nerve and numbness in his right hand and on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 13, not-quite-an-Ace Ventura will make at least one more rehab start in Triple-A before rejoining the Royals. He tossed 70 pitches on Friday and with normal rest, I’d expect to see Ventura back in the big leagues before Independence Day.
Erick Aybar, Angels: After being removed from Friday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring, Aybar also sat out yesterday’s game. Look for him to return to action today given that he was healthy enough to pinch hit in the seven inning yesterday.
Byron Buxton, Twins: The toolsy outfielder suffered a left thumb sprain while sliding into a base on Tuesday and is now expected to miss at least a month. That sound you’re hearing is Danny Santana brushing up on his center field abilities as he is likely to replace Buxton.
You can follow David on Twitter @davidwiers.