With the postseason fast approaching and the fantasy baseball playoffs in full swing, it’s important now more than ever to keep up with injuries around the league. For once it was fairly slow week, so we have included some important updates on players like Aaron Judge who are getting close to a return.
Yadier Molina C, Cardinals: hamstring strain
Molina suffered a left hamstring strain last week while trying to steal second and hasn’t been in the lineup since. While Molina wasn’t placed on the DL, he likely would have been had the rosters not expanded in September. Consider him day-to-day, but keep in mind that he remains a High Injury Risk. This strain needs at least two weeks to fully heal. With an eye on the playoffs, it’s best for the Cardinals to keep him out through the weekend and then only have him behind the plate every other day for the next week.
Kyle Schwarber OF, Cubs: back stiffness
Schwarber has been out of the Cubs lineup all week due to stiffness in his back. He is aiming for a return on Friday, but Inside Injuries is showing a September 19 Healthy to Return Date. That means that his Injury Risk is Elevated, and his back could prevent him from playing at 100%. Back injuries tend to linger, so this is something that could easily pop up later in the month or in the postseason even if he feels like he is fully recovered.
Gregory Polanco OF, Pirates: shoulder surgery
Polanco injured his left shoulder and his knee on a slide into second last week, but initial evaluations indicated relatively minor injuries. Unfortunately he is dealing with two concerning injuries. The team first reported that his season would end due to a bone bruise in his left knee that needed 6-8 weeks to heal. Then the reported surgery on his left shoulder. Polanco dislocated his shoulder on the play, which can result in anything from a ligament tear to a mild sprain to cartilage damage. The Pirates have only said he underwent surgery but didn’t indicate what procedure was performed. Until then we won’t know if he will be ready for Spring Training. If there was ligament damage, he will need a minimum of 5 months to recover but could be ready on Opening Day if all goes well throughout the rehab process.
Johan Camargo 3B, Braves: groin strain
Camargo tweaked his groin running out a ground ball on Tuesday and was removed from the game. While it does seem like a mild strain, we are showing a one week Optimal Recovery Time. If the Braves want to play it safe, they will keep him out of the lineup through the weekend. Consider him day-to-day. His HPF (Health Performance Factor) is currently Below Average but should improve quickly as he hits that September 18 Healthy to Return Date. The Braves need him healthy for the postseason, so it’s best to give him a few extra days of rest now.
Sean Manaea SP, Athletics: shoulder surgery
The Athletics got awful news on Manaea this week. He was initially shut down for the rest of the season due to tendinitis in his left shoulder. Further tests revealed the need for surgery, and his recovery will sideline him through the entire 2019 season. This is far more invasive than the arthroscopic procedure that was initially expected. There was likely damage to the rotator cuff or the labrum. For a pitcher the Optimal Recovery Time is around 60 weeks for either of these injuries, so it makes sense that he won’t pitch at all next year.
Aaron Judge OF, Yankees: wrist fracture
It’s been exactly seven weeks since Judge was hit by a pitch, causing a chip fracture in his wrist. Inside Injuries gave him a seven week Optimal Recovery Time when he was hurt (much longer than the Yankees’ initial three week estimate). Our projection seems to be right on track. Judge was cleared for batting practice and should be able to return to the lineup in the next week or two. The Yankees have a firm hold on an AL Wild Card spot, so the goal needs to be to get him as close to 100% as possible for the playoffs as opposed to rushing him back before his wrist feels strong enough.
Aroldis Chapman RP, Yankees: knee tendinitis
Chapman has been out for three weeks due to lingering tendinitis in his knee. He is finally making progress and was able to throw side session Wednesday. Chapman will follow that up with another longer side session or simulated game over the weekend. If all goes well, Chapman could return to the bullpen sometime next week. While his Injury Risk remains Elevated, his HPF is Above Average. That indicates he should be healthy enough to pitch well, but his knee problems could pop up again.
Josh Donaldson 3B, Indians: calf strain
Donaldson made his debut with the Indians on Tuesday, his first action since landing on the DL back in May with another calf strain. We warned that this is a tricky injury that could affect him all year, especially considering his history of calf strains. He was finally cleared to play but remains a High Injury Risk. The Indians will be very careful with him going forward and plan to give him plenty of days off. If his calf doesn’t act up again he could provide a huge boost for the Indians as they aim to make a postseason run, but there are still quite a few concerns going forward.