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Fantasy Baseball Injury Reports for Pitchers - Updates for Walker Buehler, Nick Pivetta, Triston McKenzie, Taj Bradley, and more

The 2024 MLB season is not even a month old, but there are already plenty of key fantasy baseball hurlers on the injury report. Let's take a look at injured pitchers for Walker Buehler, Nick Pivetta, Triston McKenzie, Taj Bradley, and more.

This is our weekly edition of fantasy baseball injury updates for pitchers as of April 19, 2024. Whether your top ace is out of action, or a depth player is banged up, some players on this list are sure to affect fantasy baseball lineup decisions.

To keep close tabs on all of the news across the MLB, make sure to favorite or bookmark the fantasy baseball player news page, and download the free RotoBaller fantasy baseball mobile app with push notification alerts on all the latest news. Let's look at the injury updates for pitchers.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:


Walker Buehler Injury Update

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler (elbow) was only able to throw 68 pitches in 2 2/3 innings during Thursday's minor-league rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Buehler allowed two runs on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts, so he wasn't particularly sharp in this one.

More importantly, the Dodgers' goal was for him to reach the 90-pitch range, which means his highly-anticipated 2024 regular-season debut and comeback from Tommy John surgery could be delayed by another outing in the minors. Look for LA to make a decision in the next few days as to whether or not the 29-year-old All-Star right-hander's next appearance will come with the big-league club, as No. 13 prospect Landon Knack could get another turn in the rotation. When we last saw him back during the 2022 campaign, Buehler logged a 4.02 ERA (3.80 FIP), 1.29 WHIP, and 58:17 K: BB over 65 frames (12 starts).

Nick Pivetta Injury Update

Boston Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (elbow) is throwing at 120 feet on Thursday and Friday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Pivetta is on the 15-day injured list due to a right elbow sprain, and while he's making progress in his throwing program, he still has a ways to go and will eventually need to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before returning to Boston's starting rotation.

Fantasy managers definitely shouldn't expect the 31-year-old to make it back before the calendar flips to May, but Pivetta should be stashed after looking excellent in his first two starts of 2024. He allowed just one earned run on eight hits (one home run) while walking one and striking out 13 in 11 innings pitched for a 0.82 ERA.


Triston McKenzie Injury Update

Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie is reportedly pitching through a torn ligament in his right elbow. Last year, a right teres major strain and elbow sprain limited McKenzie to just four starts (16 innings), and the hurler bypassed a potential Tommy John surgery in favor of rest and rehabilitation to heal his arm. His average fastball velocity (90.9 mph) ranks among baseball's worst to begin the 2024 season, and it's down from 92.4 mph during his injury-ruined 2023 campaign.

It could explain the 26-year-old right-hander's struggles to begin the campaign, as McKenzie carries a 6.23 ERA (7.20 FIP), 1.76 WHIP, and a concerning 5:12 K: BB across 13 innings (three starts). A start at home on Friday in a favorable matchup versus the visiting Oakland Athletics could be just what the doctor ordered. In three career starts (18 1/3 IP) against the A's, McKenzie holds a 1.96 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 18:4 K: BB. (The Athletic).


Taj Bradley Injury Update

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Taj Bradley (pectoral) threw a three-inning simulated game on Wednesday. Bradley will pitch four innings in an extended spring training game before potentially starting a minor-league rehab assignment, as he still has to go through the process of rebuilding his stamina and upping his pitch count before he's ready to return to the Rays.

The 23-year-old former top prospect is making good progress on the mend from a strained right pectoral, and if all continues to go well in his recovery, he appears to be on track to rejoin Tampa Bay's injury-ravaged rotation in early-to-mid May. Swingman Zack Littell has fared well as a starter to begin the 2024 season, registering a 2.14 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out 22 batters and walking just five over his first 21 innings (four starts). Ahead of Monday's scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers, Littell is worth rostering as a streamer for fantasy managers. (MLB.com)


Max Scherzer Injury Update

The Texas Rangers are now hoping that right-hander Max Scherzer (back) can return from the injured list in early May after originally believed to be out until maybe late June. Scherzer threw 25 pitches during a live batting practice session on Monday and is expected to throw 40 pitches in another live BP session on Friday. If he comes out of Friday's session all good, he could embark on a minor-league rehab assignment after that.

Scherzer said he's still a bit cautious about his return from surgery to fix a herniated disc in his back, but this is still a very positive development for the Rangers and fantasy managers who have been stashing Scherzer since the regular season started. Don't expect ace-like numbers from the 39-year-old at this point in his career, but when healthy, Scherzer can still act as a solid mid-rotation fantasy starter.


Alex Cobb Injury Update

San Francisco Giants right-hander Alex Cobb (shoulder, elbow, hip) said after the game on Thursday night that he had an MRI exam come back clean and that he will throw on flat ground on Friday. The news comes after it was reported earlier on Thursday that Cobb developed "mild shoulder inflammation" in his right arm two days after his latest bullpen session.

The 36-year-old veteran has now dealt with elbow and shoulder issues while initially rehabbing from offseason hip surgery. It's good news that his shoulder injury isn't anything serious, but he's going to need at least several weeks to ramp his arm back up before he becomes a realistic option for the Giants starting rotation in 2024. Injury issues aside, there's not a ton of fantasy upside with Cobb at this point in his career.


Jameson Taillon Injury Update

The Chicago Cubs activated starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (back) from the 15-day injured list on Thursday, optioning right-hander Hayden Wesneski to Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Taillon was set to make his 2024 regular-season debut before Thursday's series opener versus the Miami Marlins was postponed, so he'll instead get the ball in Friday's contest against Miami.

While the Cubs hope the 32-year-old right-hander gives their rotation a lift in the absence of ace Justin Steele (hamstring), he isn't the most attractive option from a fantasy perspective after recording a career-worst 4.84 ERA with just 140 strikeouts over 154 1/3 innings (30 appearances) during his debut season in the Windy City last year. Friday still presents a good matchup at home against the 4-15 Marlins, however, and Taillon's 0.54 ERA in 16 2/3 career frames (three starts) versus the Fish is his best mark against any specific club.


Robert Stephenson Injury Update

It was announced on Wednesday night that Los Angeles Angels right-handed reliever Robert Stephenson (elbow) would miss the rest of the 2024 season, and now we know why. The Angels revealed on Thursday that Stephenson will undergo elbow surgery, although the exact nature of the elbow surgery isn't known.

If it's Tommy John surgery, the 31-year-old probably won't be able to return until next summer at some point. The Halos signed Stephenson in the offseason hoping that he could be a strong late-inning bridge to closer Carlos Estevez, but instead, Stephenson wasn't able to appear in a single big-league game in 2024. The former 27th overall pick in 2011 by the Cincinnati Reds had one of the best-cut fastballs in baseball in 2023.


Chad Green Injury Update

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Chad Green (shoulder) was unavailable during Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the division-rival New York Yankees due to shoulder soreness he felt following Monday's appearance against the Yankees. Manager John Schneider hopes Green is good to go by Friday for the start of a three-game weekend set on the road against the San Diego Padres.

The 32-year-old right-hander picked up two saves and helped bridge the gap until Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson were able to rejoin Toronto's bullpen on Tuesday, and he has a strong 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out seven batters and walking two over 7 2/3 innings during the 2024 regular season. With that said, Green doesn't hold a whole lot of fantasy appeal at the moment outside of leagues that weigh holds.

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