Hold or Drop? Breaking Down Injuries to MLB Players on the DL (Week 11)

June 8, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Hold No Matter What

Clayton Kershaw SP, Dodgers: lower back strain

In his first start back from biceps tendinitis, Kershaw left after experiencing tightness in his back. We warned that his Injury Risk was Elevated even though his arm was healthy enough for him to return, and sure enough he quickly got hurt again. Scans showed a lower back strain, an injury he has battled multiple times in his career. Kershaw is expected to miss four weeks, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to miss even longer. Even so, he is one of the best pitchers in the game.  Do whatever you have to do to keep him on your roster. Sure, his Injury Risk will remain a concern for the rest of the season, but he has too much upside to drop.

Ronald Acuna OF, Braves: mild ACL sprain and back contusion

Acuna could still be days (or weeks) away from a return, but it was welcome news after his gruesome looking injury when he escaped with a mild ACL sprain. It is healing slower than expected, which we predicted, but there isn’t a ton of long-term concern here. Acuna is the top prospect in baseball for a reason. It may take him a few weeks when he is activated to get his swing and his speed back, but it will come. He needs to be owned in all leagues.


Hold If you Can

Byron Buxton OF, Twins: big toe fracture

After fracturing his big toe nearly two months ago, Buxton missed just three weeks. We gave him a 7 week Optimal Recovery Time, so it was clear that he returned too soon. His numbers were awful in May, and the Twins finally placed him back on the DL as his toe continued to bother him. When healthy, Buxton has a lot of upside, but his Injury Risk is incredibly High right now. Unless you are desperate, hold onto him. He should be close to 100% after the All Star break.

Daniel Murphy 2B, Nationals: knee surgery

Murphy’s recovery from October knee surgery has been incredibly slow. It’s expected considering the seriousness of the procedure he had to repair articular cartilage. Murphy already started a rehab assignment but has a long way to go in his recovery. Over the weekend he said “I think we’re still a ways.” Murphy may not be the player he once way even when he is activated from the DL (he still comes with a Below Average Health Performance Factor), but he should be a solid fantasy option. If you have an open DL spot, keep holding onto him. He should bring some value in the second half of the year.

Drop (Unless You Have an Open DL Spot)

Drew Pomeranz SP, Red Sox: biceps tendinitis

Pomeranz always seems to be dealing with something. Just when it looks like he is fully recovered from one injury, he goes down with another. This time he is battling tendinitis in his biceps. If you have an open DL spot he’s worth holding onto, but otherwise it’s time to let him go. His Injury Risk is High and has been all year, and it’s not going to improve anytime soon.

Rich Hill SP, Dodgers: blister

Blisters seem to become a bigger and bigger problem each and every year, and Hill is the face of this epidemic. He is currently on the DL, and the Dodgers have even talked about using him out of their bullpen for awhile as he builds up his arm strength. Because he can’t use tape or any other substance on his troublesome finger, rest is really the only thing that can help the blister to heal. He is far too unpredictable; it’s time to let him go if he is still on your team.

Alex Reyes SP, Cardinals: torn lat tendon

This one is obvious. He is out with another season-ending injury that will require surgery. Reyes was making his first big league start since suffering a torn UCL last February. He had a smooth recovery from Tommy John surgery but reportedly experienced some soreness and tightness in his lat near his pitching shoulder during his final rehab assignment. That’s when he should have shut things down. By pitching through this, he cause a torn lat tendon. It comes with a six month recovery time, so he should be close to fully recovered by the start of Spring Training.

More analysis on every injured MLB player