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Fantasy Baseball Spring Training Injury Updates

Injury updates tend to change often during Spring Training. "Soreness" is a common theme as players get back into game shape. I will be giving the most recent available injury updates from the offseason. These updates will undoubtedly change as Spring Training continues. As we get closer to Opening Day, some injuries are much more important to watch than others.

Injuries remain commonplace in all sports. Baseball has seen the rate of injury continue to rise over the past few years. In fantasy, if someone is not in the medical field, it is hard to gauge how long a player will be out and whether they need to be replaced in a lineup. Sometimes this could mean playing a dead roster spot and losing the opportunity to have a full week of stats. Watching a play and watching the mechanism of injury can say a lot about the type of injury that has been sustained. I am a practicing physician assistant in the state of New York in the fields of orthopedics and physical medicine/pain management. I have been treating patients with the same type of injuries that have been affecting athletes in a private practice setting for the past 16 years. Having this base of knowledge, it is easier to “predict” what the injury could be and how much time a player may miss.

During the course of the season, I will provide the latest injury updates with diagnoses, discuss the extent of injury and how long the player will be out. I will also be listing the “next man up” when it comes to playing time if the player will be out. And just like last year, due to the current circumstances, I will have a listing of all fantasy-relevant players affected in-season by COVID-19 protocols. This will help you create and manage a more competitive fantasy lineup in 2021.

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Injury "Guy"de for the Week of March 15, 2021

Kirby Yates (RP, TOR) - Elbow - Yates had elbow surgery in August 2020 due to bone chips in his elbow. Yates completed his rehab process and made his spring debut last week with no issues. Barring any setbacks, he should be the closer Opening Day for the Blue Jays.

James Paxton (SP, NYY) - Forearm - Paxton has thrown two simulated games without issue. Paxton was dealing with an elbow/forearm issue but his UCL was “intact.”

Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI) - Elbow - Hoskins had a modified Tommy John procedure, internal brace repair, performed in October 2020. Hoskins has been playing in spring training games without any issue and should be good to go for Opening Day.

Josh James (SP, HOU) - Hip - James had hip surgery to repair a labral tear when last season ended. James was scheduled to be out six to eight months following this surgery on his left hip. He has not been placed on the 60 day IL which means the Astros feel he could be back in late April or May.

Luis Severino (SP, NYY) - Elbow - Severino's rehab has been going well, and he could return to the majors by June or July, late summer, as per GM Brian Cashman. Severino had Tommy John surgery in February 2020. he threw his first bullpen session, 20-pitch session, last week without incident.

Brandon Belt (1B, SF) - Heel - Belt underwent surgery to have a bone spur removed from his right heel in mid-October. Belt also dealt with COVID-19 in January and mononucleosis in February. If he is not ready by opening day, Wilmer Flores, Darin Ruf or Austin Slater could get at-bats in his place.

Nick Madrigal (2B, CHW) - Shoulder - Madrigal underwent surgery on his left shoulder in mid-October. He continues to feel residual soreness and has not played in a game since making his spring debut last week.

Mike Soroka (P, ATL) - Achilles - Soroka had surgery to repair his torn Achilles tendon in early August 2020. So far this spring, he has thrown in two simulated games but not real game action yet. Kyle Wright should fill in for the Braves in their rotation until Soroka is ready.

Chris Sale (SP, BOS) - Elbow - Sale is making progress following his Tommy John surgery last year. Sale is throwing from flat-ground to 90 feet. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has said that Sale continues to make progress and could be fully stretched out by the middle of the summer.

Noah Syndergaard (P, NYM) - Elbow - Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery in late March 2020 and his rehab is “on schedule.” The earliest he could return is the end of the first half of 2021. Syndergaard has been seen pitching off the mound in Spring training.

Jordan Hicks (RP, STL) - Elbow - Hicks had opted out of the 2020 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Hicks made his spring debut over this past weekend, hitting 100+ on the radar gun. He is expected to take over the Cardinals' closer role this season but until then Giovanny Gallegos and others in the Cardinal bullpen could close games.

Miles Mikolas (SP, STL) - Forearm - Mikolas had surgery on his right flexor tendon in late July 2020. Mikolas will now be shut down from throwing for seven to ten 10 days after undergoing an MRI recently.

J.T. Realmuto (C, PHI) - Thumb- Phillies manager Joe Girardi said last week that Realmuto has been cleared to resume full baseball activities. Girardi noted that Realmuto was able to make about 40 throws during a workout without incident. He is expected to be ready by Opening Day.

Miguel Andujar (OF, NYY) - Hand/Wrist - Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Andujar will visit a specialist this week after recently experiencing soreness in his right hand/wrist. Andujar previously experienced pain in the same wrist while playing in the Dominican Winter League during the offseason.

Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL) - Hamstring - Rodgers has been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain that occurred during a stolen base attempt. He will rest and at this point it is not considered to be too serious.

Tejay Antone (RP, CIN) - Groin - Antone left Sunday's spring game with a mild right groin strain. He is expected to make his next start but this is something to watch as he is a candidate to close for the Reds.

Carlos Carrasco (SP, NYM) - Elbow - Carrasco was experiencing elbow soreness recently. He has since thrown from 75 feet and will throw from 90-to-120 feet this week. Opening day may still be in question at this point. Joey Lucchesi could fill in to start the season if needed.

Jarred Kelenic (OF, SEA) - Kelenic was diagnosed with a Grade 2 adductor muscle strain about two weeks ago. He participated in batting practice with no issues over the weekend.

Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) - Shoulder - Bogaerts has been dealing with a sore right shoulder this spring. MRI was negative. He has been serving as Boston's DH over the past few games without issue.

Ji-Man Choi (1B, TB) - Knee - Rays manager Kevin Cash said that Choi will be shut down for seven to ten days with right knee soreness. Cash reiterated that he isn't overly concerned about the injury. No word if MRI was done.

Nate Pearson (SP, TOR) - Groin - Pearson was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right groin strain. He has been ruled out for Opening Day. Pearson, however, felt good after throwing a recent bullpen session. Steven Matz or Ross Stripling could fill in for the Blue Jays rotation until Pearson is ready.

Trent Grisham (OF, SD) - Hamstring - Grisham was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain. Grisham suffered the injury while running out a groundout. The Padres are hopeful that he'll only miss a week.

Framber Valdez (SP, HOU) - Finger - Valdez fractured his left ring finger on a comebacker earlier this spring. The Astros still have not offered an update on a timetable for his return, his treatment plan or a prognosis for his short-term future.

Alex Bregman (3B, HOU) - Hamstring - Bregman has been dealing with a sore hamstring since the start of spring training. He is expected to make his spring debut sometime this week.

Trevor Rosenthal (RP, OAK) - Groin - Rosenthal is dealing with a minor groin strain. He threw a successful bullpen session over the weekend. Rosenthal should be good to go to start the season. If he is not ready, Jake Diekman could fill in as closer for the Athletics.

Adam Haseley (OF, PHI) - Groin - Haseley was diagnosed yesterday with a left adductor strain that will likely sideline him for three to four weeks. Odubel Herrera, who is having a decent spring training, is the frontrunner to start the season as the Phillies centerfielder.

Lorenzo Cain (OF, MIL) - Quad - Cain has been brought along slowly this spring due to a quadriceps issue that the Brewers have described as "very minor." He is scheduled to make his spring debut later this week.

Evan Longoria (3B, SF) - Foot - Longoria has been dealing with plantar fasciitis. Longoria dealt with this same issue in July 2019 and it kept him out for about a month. He has been playing this spring in a DH capacity only.

Forrest Whitley (SP, HOU) - Elbow - Whitley threw a simulated game and "came up sore." After testing was performed, Whitley has opted for Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2021 season.

Kole Calhoun (OF, ARI) - Calhoun underwent a successful partial medial meniscectomy surgery on his right knee during the first week in March He is expected to miss four to six weeks. Pavin Smith, Tim Locastro and Daulton Varsho may see more playing time until Calhoun returns.

Hunter Harvey (RP, BAL) - Oblique - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde confirmed today that Harvey will be sidelined indefinitely with a left oblique strain. Opening Day is in question. Tanner Scott, Shawn Armstrong or Cesar Valdez could close.

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