The team at insideinjuries.com provides some waiver tips and injury updates
Ronald Acuna OF, Braves: ACL sprain and knee contusion
When Acuna severely hyperextended his knee while trying to leg out a single over the weekend, it appeared that the Braves were going to lose their rookie phenom for the rest of the season. So it was welcome news when the MRI showed a mild ACL sprain and knee contusion. He is on the DL but could return within a few weeks. Our algorithm is showing a longer Optimal Recovery Time of four weeks, so he should be healthy by the All-Star break. If the Braves play it safe, they could sideline him until then, but it doesn’t sound like that is their plan right now. He will be re-evaluated in 10 days, and then they will come up with a more exact timeline for his return.
Right now Acuna’s Injury Risk is Very High because the ligament is stretched out, therefore he is more vulnerable to suffer a more serious injury if he doesn’t allow enough time (four weeks) for his knee to heal.
Yu Darvish SP, Cubs: Triceps tightness
Darvish is dealing with yet another injury. This time it’s tightness in his triceps. He thought he could play through it, as it’s been bothering him for a while, but there’s inflammation that continues to affect him. Now, he is on the DL. Darvish has a long history of problems with his pitching arm that includes Tommy John surgery and a stint on the DL in 2017 due to a shoulder injury. His past troubles make this even more concerning than it otherwise would be. Before Darvish’s latest injury, his Injury Risk was Elevated, and now his Injury Risk is High (32 percent). An MRI was clean and he is expected to begin a throwing program this weekend, but it’s hard to believe that his injury problems are behind him for good.
Josh Donaldson 3B, Blue Jays: Calf tightness
Donaldson’s calf is acting up again. The Blue Jays don’t plan to place him on the DL, but he hasn’t been in the lineup since leaving on Monday. Donaldson’s calf has been a problem over the last few seasons. It was his left calf that bothered him earlier this spring, but it was his right calf that forced him to miss six weeks in 2017.
While this isn’t expected to be a long-term problem, it does remain a serious concern going forward. Donaldson can’t seem to escape the calf injuries, so his Injury Risk has been in the High category for much of the season. Donaldson also missed nearly three weeks earlier this season due to right shoulder inflammation. It’s hard not to keep him in fantasy lineups whenever he is active, but he will remain an injury liability for the rest of the year. If you can trade him away right as he seems healthy, do it.
Matt Davidson 3B, White Sox: Back spasms
The White Sox finally placed Davidson on the DL on Monday after missing the previous five games due to back spasms. We are showing a two-week Optimal Recovery Time, so he shouldn’t be sidelined for long. Back spasms do often recur, so it could pop up again this season, but it isn’t an overly serious concern for now.
Mookie Betts OF, Red Sox: Oblique tightness
Betts was a late scratch from the lineup on Sunday due to tightness in his right side, and he hasn’t played since. The Red Sox believe he can return for their weekend series with the Astros. Any sort of oblique or core injury is very tricky and often heals slower than expected. His ORT is currently two weeks, so landing on the DL would be best for his long-term health. Betts leads the league with a .359 average, but don’t be surprised if his offensive numbers drop slightly over the few weeks following his return. He won’t be at 100 percent health just yet.
Brian McCann C, Astros: Right knee soreness
The Astros placed McCann on the DL this week due to soreness in his right knee. We are showing a Healthy to Return Date of June 5, so this shouldn’t sideline him for too long. While knee injuries are somewhat concerning for a catcher, a few weeks off should be enough time for his knee to calm down. He has had knee issues in the past, so the Astros didn’t want to take any risks here. His numbers also haven’t been great this year. A few days off could be beneficial for the veteran.
Andrew Miller RP, Indians: Knee inflammation
Miller was sent to visit a specialist on Tuesday to have his left knee examined. He landed on the DL over the weekend due to inflammation. At this point, there’s no indication that there is structural damage that could require surgery. Still, it is a concern that the Indians haven’t provided any sort of a timeline for one of their best bullpen guys. Miller also landed on the DL twice last season due to patellar tendinitis, so knee injuries are nothing new. He also missed two weeks this season with a hamstring injury. If Miller can’t stay healthy, there’s no way he can go back to being a dominant reliever.
Since returning from his latest injury, his numbers have been awful. It’s unfortunately exactly what our algorithm predicted would happen as his HPF (Health Performance Factor) has been Below Average for most of the month. Right now his Injury Risk is High, and it could be awhile before we see him back on the mound.
Adam Ottavino RP, Rockies: Left oblique strain
It seems that the only thing that could slow Adam Ottavino down this year is this oblique injury. Ottavino posed a .092 batting average against to go along with a 0.95 ERA before landing on the DL this week. Oblique injuries are notoriously slow to heal. But the one good thing here is that it’s to his left side and he’s a righty. It still impacts his throws, but not as much as an injury to his throwing side. If it is a mild strain, we are showing a two-week Optimal Recovery Time. But a more serious strain would take closer to five weeks to heal.
Noah Syndergaard SP, Mets: Right index finger soreness
It’s always something with the Mets starting rotation. This week it’s a slew of finger injuries that have landed two starters on the DL. Noah Syndergaard was the first to go down with soreness in his right index finger. An MRI showed a strain to the ligament, an injury that comes with a three-week Optimal Recovery Time. Syndergaard first noticed some discomfort during his last start, and it got worse during a bullpen session earlier in the week. While the Mets hope a few days of rest will allow him to test out his finger during a bullpen session over the weekend, our algorithm is showing that he needs more time for the ligament to heal. With a High Injury Risk (35 percent), he needs to take things slow over the next few weeks so he doesn’t cause more damage or suffer another related injury due to overcompensation.
Steven Matz SP, Mets: Left middle finger discomfort
Soon after the Mets got the bad news on Syndergaard, Matz left his start early with a finger injury, leaving the rotation even more depleted than it already was. While Thor’s injury was to his index finger, Matz is having issues with his middle finger. X-rays were negative, but there remains a good chance that he will also be sent for an MRI to look for any ligament damage. He remains a very High Injury Risk (50 percent). It’s also important to keep an eye on his elbow as he recovers. Matz underwent season-ending surgery last year, and if he tries to overcompensate for the finger injury, it could place added stress on the elbow, leading to another injury.
Jeff Samardzija SP, Giants: Right shoulder tightness
Samardzija won’t be able to make his next start as he deals with tightness in his right shoulder. He had trouble getting loose before his start on Tuesday and only lasted one inning. He is undergoing an MRI, which would show if he is dealing with a more serious injury such as a muscle or ligament strain/tear. For now, his stay on the DL is expected to be a brief one.
Alex Reyes SP, Cardinals: unknown
Reyes lasted just four innings and 73 pitches in his first start back from Tommy John surgery. He was exceptional through his rehab assignment, but Wednesday night was different. Now, it seems that fatigue may be more of the concern here than a true injury. His elbow should be fine, and it didn’t appear that he was dealing with another injury. Unless we hear something else, assume this was a precautionary move as the Cardinals try to protect their top prospect.
Kenta Maeda SP, Dodgers: hip strain
Maeda is the latest member of the Dodgers’ starting rotation to go down with an injury, following in the footsteps of Kershaw (biceps tendinitis), Hill (blisters), Ryu (groin strain) and Urias (shoulder surgery). Maeda left his start early on Wednesday night to undergo an MRI on his leg. He has already been placed on the DL after the scan confirmed a hip strain. While the Dodgers hope he can miss just one start, our algorithm is showing that it will take at least two weeks if it’s a mild strain and 4-5 weeks if it’s more serious.
Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson