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Fantasy Baseball Injury News and Updates: Jose Altuve, Carlos Rodon, Seiya Suzuki, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and more

Jose Altuve - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Opening day of the 2023 Major League Baseball season has just passed us by. The majority of fantasy drafts have been completed and now we get to see how we did.  Injury information has been coming fast and furiously as MLB teams have set their own rosters for the first week of the season and beyond.

There is a lot of information to try to digest to help you manage your teams as they begin their quest for your league championship. I will highlight players on the IL with their hopeful return timeframe and the next man up. So let’s get right to it…but first….

For new readers, my name is Reuven Guy and I am a practicing orthopedic/pain management Physician Assistant. I have been dealing with sports injuries for the past 16+ years and have a knowledge of orthopedic injuries and their recovery times based on my medical experience. I have also been playing fantasy baseball during that same period, which has helped me get an advantage in this aspect of fantasy baseball, which I hope to share with you.  If you enjoyed this weekly article, please follow me on Twitter @mlbinjuryguru for offseason news. Make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest MLB breaking news with our award-winning news desk and our free fantasy baseball mobile app with 24-7 push notification alerts!


Injured Hitters for Fantasy Baseball

Jose Altuve (2B, HOU)- Thumb: Altuve has not been placed on the 60-day IL  after undergoing surgery on his fractured right thumb. This means that he can possibly come back in late May instead of June.  This is a possibility but the Astros could transfer him to the 60-day IL at any time. Until then, Mauricio Dubon and David Hensley should fill in at second base for the Astros.

Mitch Haniger (OF, SF)- Oblique: Haniger will start the season on the IL due to a Grade 1 oblique strain. The injury occurred on March 4 and this type of injury keeps players out typically six to eight weeks. Haniger has resumed throwing and hitting and may not require an extended ramp-up period if he can avoid any setbacks during his rehab program. He should be ready for a mid-April return. Until then, Joc Pederson may have less of a platoon in the outfield for the Giants.

Jorge Polanco (2B, MIN)- Knee: Polanco has begun the season on the IL due to a left knee injury. He has begun hitting but has not seen any game action since he had surgery on his knee in mid-March. A mid to late-April return looks to be in the cards for Polanco as he has not had any game action for a while. Nick Gordon could see extended time at second base for the Twins. 

Leody Taveras (OF, TEX)- Oblique: Taveras is on the IL to start the season due to a left oblique strain. He can swing from the left side of the plate but is not ready to swing from the right side yet. Bubba Thompson will get some starts in center field while Taveras is out and the Rangers also figure to use Adolis Garcia in center some days.

Randal Grichuk (OF, COL)- Groin: Grichuk is currently rehabbing from offseason hernia surgery and recently began experiencing renewed discomfort related to scar tissue in his right hip. Grichuk does not consider this a major setback and is aiming to begin appearing in games at extended spring training in the early part of April. Yonathan Daza and Jurickson Profar will benefit from more playing time. 

Bryce Harper (DH, PHI)- Elbow: Harper had Tommy John surgery during the course of the offseason. Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that Harper will not start the season on the 60-day IL. "We're going to keep our options open," Dombrowski said. By not placing Harper on the 60-day IL, it leaves open the possibility that he could return before the end of May. 

Alex Kirilloff (1B, MIN)- Wrist: Kirilloff has not played in a game in the Grapefruit League but the good news is that he has been participating in some minor-league games recently as well as taking live batting practice. The Twins hope this IL stint is a short one. Jose Miranda, Joey Gallo, and Donovan Solano are in the mix to see more playing time.

Harrison Bader (OF, NYY)- Oblique: Bader injured his oblique about two weeks ago and was expected to miss six weeks. Bader has said that he hopes to start swinging a bat "really soon." No date was given for this but there is a possibility he could return sooner than expected. Until then, Aaron Judge should man centerfield, giving Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, and the newly signed Franchy Cordero more playing time.

Adalberto Mondesi (SS, BOS)- Knee: Mondesi continues to recover from ACL surgery that was performed last year. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters that there is still no timetable for his return. Because he has not seen any game action yet, mid-May could be the time he could return to the Red Sox starting lineup. Enrique Hernandez and Yu Chang should fill in at shortstop with both Mondesi and Trevor Story out.

Jared Walsh (1B, LAA)- Head: Walsh has been dealing with headaches and insomnia, and he's begun to see a specialist, Doug Padilla of the Los Angeles Times reports. There's no timetable for a return at this point from the IL. Brandon Drury and Jake Lamb should be the first two guys to benefit from Walsh being out.

Max Stassi (C, LAA)- Hip: Stassi is on the IL with a hip injury that occurred this past week in a minor league game. There is no timetable for his return. Logan O'Hoppe and Matt Thaiss will share the catching duty for the Angels.

Seiya Suzuki (OF, CHC)- Oblique: Suzuki is recovering from an oblique injury sustained early on in Spring Training. He has taken batting practice and looked good. The Cubs are being cautious with him and he could be activated from the IL in mid-April. Trey Mancini may see time in the outfield with Suzuki out. 

Michael Brantley (OF, HOU)- Shoulder: Astros general manager Dana Brown said this past week that Brantley is not expected to make his 2023 debut until mid-to-late-April, missing at least three weeks. This is stemming from an injury that occurred last year. 

Elly De La Cruz (SS, CIN)- Hamstring:  De La Cruz suffered a left hamstring strain on March 18 and will miss the start of the minor-league season. There is no word of a timetable for his return.

Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI)- Knee: Hoskins had left knee ACL reconstruction surgery earlier this week and will most likely miss the entire year. Darick Hall may end up the full-time first baseman for the Phillies with Alec Bohm possibly gaining eligibility as well. 

Carson Kelly (C, ARI)- Forearm: Kelly has a fractured right forearm which occurred when he was hit by a pitch. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo did not offer an estimated recovery timetable, but this should be a two or three absence. Gabriel Moreno would seem to be in line for something close to everyday playing time with Jose Herrera backing him up.

Injured Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball

Carlos Rodon (SP, NYY)- Forearm: Rodon completed a 30-pitch bullpen session this week and was encouraged by how he felt afterward. He was recently shut down from pitching for two weeks.  Rodon is expected to be on a build-up program that lasts around a month. The best scenario for Rodon to come back, barring any setbacks, is the end of April or the beginning of May. 

Triston McKenzie (SP, CLE)- Shoulder: Mckenzie had an MRI this past week that showed a right teres major muscle strain. He will be shut down from throwing for two weeks and could remain sidelined for up to eight weeks. Hunter Gaddis could fill in for the Guardians until Mckenzie could return. 

Tony Gonsolin (SP, LAD)- Ankle: Gonsolin sprained his left ankle during Spring Training and is hopeful of rejoining the Dodgers rotation in late April. Gonsolin seems to be at the point of rebuilding his stamina and may need a few rehab starts before he returns. Ryan Pepiot is penciled in to start in his place. 

Max Fried (SP, ATL)- Hamstring: Fried left his opening day start with left hamstring discomfort. The severity is not yet known. He injured his leg covering first base in the fourth inning.

Justin Verlander (SP, NYM)- Shoulder: Verlander was placed on the IL with a low-grade teres major strain, a shoulder strain. He will "continue throwing at moderate intensity" before undergoing new scans as the initial MRI was promising. Verlander said he has been dealing with this issue throughout Spring Training and does not feel that it is a big deal. Tylor Megill will take his rotation spot for the Mets.

Ryan Pepiot (SP, LAD)- Oblique: Pepiot was placed on the IL with a left oblique strain. No word as to the severity of the strain. A mild strain could knock him out for two to four weeks while a moderate strain could keep him shelved for six to eight weeks. He was filling in for Tony Gonsolin. Michael Grove will not take his spot in the Dodgers rotation.

Kyle Wright (SP, ATL)- Shoulder: Wright was placed on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. He was given a cortisone injection in January to combat soreness in his right shoulder and ran out of time in ramping up for the season. He is expected to miss only two turns in the Braves rotation with Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd both being in the rotation while Wright is out.

Garrett Whitlock (SP, BOS)- Hip: Whitlock had hip surgery in September 2022 and is being built up slowly. He is scheduled to start the Red Sox Triple-A home opener on March 30. Whitlock should be activated soon after. 

Tyler Glasnow (SP, TB)- Oblique- Glasnow has begun throwing on flat ground from 75 feet. He suffered a grade 2 left oblique strain about a month ago and was expected to miss six to eight weeks. He appears to be trending toward the long end of the timeframe given he has to fully build up his arm after missing spring training. 

JT Brubaker (SP, PIT)- Forearm: Brubaker was scratched from his last scheduled Spring Training start as he deals with forearm/elbow discomfort. The severity is not yet known and Johan Oviedo seems to be picked to fill the final spot in the Pirates' rotation.

Joe Musgrove (SP, HOU)- Toe: Musgrove is recovering from a fractured big toe that occurred in the weight room during Spring Training. Musgrove threw 65 pitches over four innings in a 'B' game this past week. He is scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game over the weekend and should be activated next week.

Brayan Bello (SP, BOS)- Forearm: Bello threw three innings for the Red Sox Double-A affiliate last week and will continue to ramp up. Barring any setbacks, Bello is expected to join Boston's starting rotation in mid-to-late April.

Luis Severino (SP, NYY)- Lat: Severino has said that he will resume throwing when pain-free and could miss as few as three or four starts to start the season. Severino had a similar injury last year that sidelined him for two months but not in the same location as this year. With Severino and Rodon out, Clarke Schmidt and Jhony Brito could fill in for the Yankees.

Lance McCullers Jr. (SP, HOU)- Forearm: McCullers said last week that he is dealing with a "strain of the forearm muscle, very low grade." McCullers then added that doctors "were hesitant to even call it a strain." This is the same injury that sidelined him most of last year and in 2021 during the playoffs. He seems to be trending to miss at least the first month of the season with Hunter Brown ready to take his spot in the Astros rotation.

Adam Wainwright (SP, STL)- Groin: Wainwright was diagnosed with a groin strain last week and he is expected to sideline him for "several weeks," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol has said. The injury occurred at the World Baseball Classic. Jake Woodford is likely to be Wainwright's rotation replacement for the Cardinals.

Ranger Suarez (SP, PHI)- Forearm: Suarez has said that he is feeling better but does not know yet when he will have his next bullpen session. MRI of the forearm revealed no structural damage and there is no timeline yet for his return. Matt Strahm could fill in for the Phillies until Suarez is ready to return. 

Aaron Ashby (SP, MIL)- Shoulder- The Brewers placed Ashby on the IL, retroactive to March 27 with a left labrum tear and impingement. Ashby is expected to miss the first six weeks of the regular season while recovering from this injury as he has not yet begun throwing bullpen sessions as of yet.


Injured Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball

Daniel Hudson (RP, LAD)- Knee: Hudson continues to rehab from ACL surgery in June 2022. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Hudson returning by late April "seems doable." When ready, he will need a rehab assignment and then may be in the mix for the closer role when he returns. Until then, the bullpen by committee for the Dodgers includes Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, and Alex Vesia.

Robert Suarez (RP, SD)- Arm: Suarez is beginning the 2023 season on the IL because of arm stiffness and joint inflammation. An MRI revealed no structural damage but he has not been able to throw since March 12. There is no timetable for his return. 

Raisel Iglesias (RP, ATL)- Shoulder: Braves manager Brian Snitker said last week that he hopes Iglesias will only require the minimum 15 days on the IL. Iglesias was diagnosed with low-grade right shoulder inflammation after feeling off while playing catch. He has been shut down and will then need to ramp up again.  A.J. Minter is the favorite to close games for Atlanta while Iglesias is out.

Edwin Diaz (RP, NYM)- Knee: Diaz underwent successful surgery to repair his patellar tendon and recovery time for this injury is around six to eight months. He seems lost for the year due to this injury that occurred during a celebration on the field after a World Baseball Classic matchup. David Robertson and Adam Ottavino could close for the Mets.  

Liam Hendriks (RP, CHW)- Illness: Hendriks continues to work out with the White Sox and threw a bullpen recently. Hendriks is battling with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and it is encouraging to see him able to throw. The White Sox previously said they didn't expect to have an update on their closer's ability until Opening Day, however, and there's been no suggestion that the bullpen session is part of a typical spring build-up. He was not placed on the 60-day IL which means the White Sox are hopeful he could return earlier than June.

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