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MLB Injury Updates for Fantasy Baseball: Gray, Kazmir, Adams, Cueto, Lucroy


Sprains, strains, and surgeries. These three words make chills run down the spine of even the most hardened fantasy player. They're the little “what if” clause hanging over every fantasy season, that thing you just can't ever really predict no matter how much pre-draft research you do.

Like it or not, being able to properly deal with injuries is one of the main separators between casual fantasy players and league champions. Given the importance of this aspect of the game, I'll be devoting a weekly column to discussing the latest injury updates pertaining to the fantasy community.

A disclaimer before we get started: the sheer size of the fantasy baseball player pool means I won't be able to discuss every injury that might affect teams out there. Furthermore, this article will be tailored towards standard leagues. I'll do my best to cover all the important names, but some guys are going to be inevitably left out. When they are, feel free to bring them up in the comments section below. I'm always happy to chat if there's a player you need to know more about.

 

Recent Injuries

Sonny Gray: After being hit in the ankle by a line drive last week, some were fearing the worst for Gray. Luckily, the A's seem to have dodged a bullet this time. X-rays taken on May 24th came back negative. While Gray reports that he's still feeling some tenderness in the ankle, the team expects him to be ready to take the mound for his next start on Friday, May 29th.

Scott Kazmir: Kazmir was forced to exit the game early on May 27th with tightness in his left shoulder. A subsequent MRI revealed no structural damage to the shoulder, however. The A's will likely choose to take advantage of a scheduled off day to skip Kazmir's next turn in the rotation. It's unlikely he'll be held out of action for any longer than that.

Matt Adams: A severe right quad strain could have Adams' season in jeopardy. Adams is expected to undergo surgery to fix this condition on Friday, May 29th. He could need as much as 3-4 months to return to playing condition afterwards.

"It's going to be a while," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told The Associated Press. "This is not something that's going to be 15 days. Hopefully, in the next couple days we'll have a better understanding, but he's going to miss some time."

Robinson Cano: Cano was held out of last Thursday's game due to “flu-like” symptoms.

“He’s sick… dehydrated, taking an IV,” explained manager Lloyd McClendon. “I’m not sure how much fluid he’s gotten back in but he’s dehydrated. He’s lost a few pounds.”

Mat Latos: Latos is scheduled to begin throwing off a mound on May 30th. He was placed on the disabled list on May 26th (retroactive to May 22nd) with left knee inflammation. The team seems confident that he will not need more than the minimum time, however.

Steven Souza: Souza has been held out of the starting lineup since May 25th with a left wrist sprain. The Rays seem to think the condition is not serious enough to warrant a DL-stint. Souza's condition is currently listed as day-to-day.

Xander Bogaerts: Bogaerts was pulled from May 28th's game after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Nick Martinez. Subsequent X-rays turned up negative and there remains hope that Bogaerts could be ready to go as soon as Thursday.

“He’s got a contusion,” manager John Farrell told the Boston Herald. “There’s no fracture of any kind. He had a scan here tonight. Day-to-day, hopefully he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Johnny Cueto: After Cueto was scratched from a start on May 24th with right elbow stiffness, the Tommy John rumor mill started in full swing. These worries seem to have been for naught, as a later MRI confirmed that the Reds' ace had not suffered any tear of the ligament or structural damage to the elbow.

"I had the gut feeling that everything was going to be OK; I never thought it was going to be different," Cueto told MLB.com. "But thank God after the test, everything came back good, like I thought it was going to be."

While it has yet to be confirmed, Cueto is a strong candidate to start on Sunday, provided he feels no further discomfort going forward.

Brandon Phillips: A flareup of turf toe on Phillips' left foot held the Reds' second baseman out of the starting lineup on May 26th and 27th. It was a good sign that Phillips was able to make a pinch hitting appearance on the 27th adn 28th though. His condition is currently listed as day-to-day.

 

Ongoing Injury Updates

Devon Travis: Travis is expected to begin a rehab assignment this weekend, according to the Jays. If so, this would put him in line to come off the DL when first eligible on June 5th.

Jonathan Lucroy: According to a report by Andrew Gruman, the Brewers are planning on activating their star catcher on Monday June 1st.

Jean Segura: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Segura will be activated from the disabled list this Friday, May 29th. He is expected to immediately return to the role of starting shortstop. Set your lineups accordingly.

Yasmani Grandal: After landing on the 7-day DL with concussion symptoms, Grandal was at last sent on a Triple-A rehab assignment on May 26th. The Dodgers expect to have him back in their lineup on Saturday, May 30th.

Yasiel Puig: Puig is still experiencing tightness in his hamstring during running exercises, according to the team.

“He's been doing more and more baseball, but the running part has still been a problem," shared manager Don Mattingly with MLB.com. "I think every time they try it, they've gotten some level of tightness."

Until this issue is resolved, a timetable for Puig's return could prove illusive.

Hyun-jin Ryu: Ryu underwent season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery on May 21. Sorry fantasy owners, but it looks like it's time to cut your losses with this one.

Hisashi Iwakuma: Iwakuma has at last been cleared to start playing catch as of May 23rd. Manager Lloyd McClendon thinks he's still at least 7-8 days away from being able to throw off a mound, however.

“He’ll continue to progress with his rehab and we’ll see how it goes,” McClendon told the Seattle Times. “Obviously, he’s getting to the point where he feels good enough to get on the mound. I’ll be surprised (if he returns) in the next seven or eight days. The discomfort and the inflammation has dissipated to the point where he can get out and continue his rehab.”

Jose Fernandez: USA Today is reporting that the Marlins are preparing Fernandez to begin throwing in extended Spring Training games starting this Monday. Fernandez continues to make excellent progress in his attempt to return to the team by the All-Star Break. This latest news is just another step in the right direction.

David Wright: Wright has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a condition which could prove career threatening depending on its severity.. The Mets have scheduled him an appointment with spine specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins, next week. Obviously, this puts Wright's rehab process on hold. There is no timetable for his return to the team.

Travis d'Arnaud: d'Arnaud was right around the corner to return, but has hit a bump in the road. He is now dealing with a bone bruise, and it's unknown how long it will delay his return.

“We all know that Travis is on the road back,” he shared. “But let’s not put any dates on it just yet. We’ve had too many interruptions along the way so we’ve just begun.”

Doug Fister: Fister began throwing on Wednesday, May 28th as part of his rehab back from a right flexor strain. There remains no timetable for his return at this point in the process.

Anthony Rendon: The Nationals are hoping to have Rendon begin a rehab assignment on Friday. He's looked strong at the Nationals' Spring Training facility so far this month and was even able to steal third during a simulated game on Tuesday.

Jayson Werth: Tough news for fantasy owners and Nationals fans here. Werth will be out till at least August after being diagnosed with multiple small wrist fractures. The fractures were in theory caused by a hit-by-pitch incident back on May 15th.

Matt Wieters: Wieters could return to the Orioles as soon as June 4th after beginning a Double-A rehab assignment on May 26th. He has been held out all season while recovering from last year's Tommy John surgery.

Wil Myers: The latest tests show “marked improvement” in Myer's left wrist, according to manager Bud Black.

"After the scans were read, the images show that the tendon is improving," Black told UT San Diego. "There's less fluid around the tendon, so there is marked improvement. But there's still a little bit of soreness."

"No swings are currently planned, but I think the wrist will let Wil know when it's time to swing," he continued. "He'll continue to do strengthening exercises. He'll continue to receive his therapy and treatments. Hopefully, it continues to feel better as each day goes on."

The Padres do not yet have a timetable established for his return to the team.

Devin Mesoraco: It may have taken a month of back and forth, but it's happened at last. Mesoraco has been placed on the DL thanks to the bad left hip that has been plaguing him all season. There is no timetable for his return to the team.

Corey Dickerson: No news may be good news in this case. Dickerson is still recovering from a painful plantar fasciitis diagnosis. The Rockies are hoping to have him back sometime during June.

Justin Morneau: Morneau was unable to join the Rockies on their six day roadtrip starting March 26th. It seems that this latest concussion has taken its toll on the veteran 1st baseman.

Victor Martinez: Martinez began a rehab assignment on May 22nd. The Tigers are hoping to have him return to the team sometime in early June.

Justin Verlander: Verlander is almost ready to begin a Triple-A rehab assignment. The Tigers plan to have him begin the program on May 31st, a move which could set Verlander up to return to the team sometime during early June.

Jacoby Ellsbury: Ellsbury could miss up to another month thanks to the right knee sprain which landed him on the DL early last week.

"[Ellsbury's production] That's not easy to replace," manager Joe Girardi told NJ.com. "I would hope we would have him within a month. That would be my hope. I can't tell you that we will."

Masahiro Tanaka: Tanaka began a Triple-A rehab assignment on May 21st and could be ready to return to the majors in just a matter of days. Girardi indicated that the Yankees ace would take the mound for the team either next Tuesday or Wednesday. He also mentioned that the team would be observing a 80 pitch limit for Tanaka's first start.

 

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