A.J. Pollock OF, Diamondbacks: left thumb avulsion fracture
Pollock left Monday’s game after injuring his thumb while diving for a line drive. Scans showed an avulsion fracture, which means that a little piece of bone gets ripped off where a tendon or ligament attaches. While his current timeline is anywhere from 4-8 weeks, we are showing that he needs to take at least five weeks for the thumb to heal, then he can start to take batting practice and field balls in the outfield. That means a return in 7-8 weeks is realistic.
This is yet another tough break for Pollock, who was off to a hot start in the first quarter of the season. Pollock missed most of the 2016 season due to an elbow fracture and missed over two months in 2017 due to a serious groin strain. His Injury Risk is currently very high.
Robinson Cano 2B, Mariners: right hand fracture
The only good thing about Cano fracturing his right hand is that it lines up nicely with his 80-game suspension. Cano was hit by a pitch earlier in the week and underwent surgery for a fifth metacarpal fracture. This typically comes with an 8 week recovery, so he should be ready to go in mid-August when his suspension is up.
DJ LeMahieu 2B, Rockies: left thumb sprain
LeMahieu visited a hand specialist after injuring his left thumb over the weekend. He has a small fracture and a ligament sprain, but no tear that will require surgery. While this is fairly positive news as surgery would sideline him for around 8 weeks, our algorithm is still showing a five week Optimal Recovery Time. The Rockies won’t give an official timeline for his return but hope he can grip a bat in the next week once the swelling goes down and then go from there. So, it sounds like they aren’t expecting a very long absence, our our analytics show he needs to miss more than a few weeks.
Once again Rich Hill left a start with blister issues. Hill just missed three weeks due to a cracked fingernail, an injury we said could lead to blister problems if it doesn’t fully heal. Now, Hill is expected to make his next scheduled start on Sunday, but this remains a serious concern. He missed significant time in each of the last two seasons with blisters. This isn’t a problem that is just going to go away. So while he may be fine for now, this won’t be the last we hear of his blister problems.
Adrian Beltre 3B, Rangers: hamstring strain
An MRI on Beltre’s hamstring showed a grade 1 sprain, and he is currently expected to miss 2-3 weeks. It’s in the same location as his late-April hamstring strain. That one should have sidelined him for at least two weeks, but because he tried to return sooner than that, the injury is popping up again. Beltre has a lengthy history of lower body muscular strains, particularly to his hamstring and calf. His Injury Risk already fell into the High category, and now it’s even higher. If you have Beltre on your roster, look to trade him away whenever he shows a brief glimpse productivity following his return. He can’t be trusted.
Yoenis Cespedes 3B, Mets: hip strain
Cespedes tried to play through discomfort in his right hip for weeks. When it wasn’t getting better (no surprise), the Mets finally sent him for an MRI and placed him on the DL. He hopes to return when first eligible, but we are showing a lengthier Optimal Recovery Time of around 3 weeks. Cespedes has had so many lower body injuries in the last two seasons that it’s hard to believe he has played in 35 games this season. He did miss half of the 2017 season due to multiple hamstring strains. Cespedes needs to have a long-term outlook. Instead of rushing back as soon as he starts to feel better, he needs to take extra time off for his body to fully heal. It’s a horrible cycle he’s in and one that could lead to another ruined season.
Keynan Middleton RP, Angels: UCL damage
The Angels may be on the hunt for a new closer to take over for the rest of the season. Middleton had a brief stint on the DL due to inflammation in his elbow. But in just his second game back he experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow. What was originally called an elbow sprain is a torn UCL that will require Tommy John surgery. Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker and Justin Anderson are all candidates for more save opportunities.
Ryan Braun OF, Brewers: back strain
Braun has missed the last three games with a back injury and is “far more likely” than not to hit the DL. Our algorithm is showing a two week Optimal Recovery Time if it’s mild, but closer to 4 weeks if it’s a more serious strain. Braun also has a history of back problems so he needs to be extra careful in his recovery. We always warn that back injuries tend to recur
Carlos Martinez SP, Cardinals: lat strain
When the Cardinals placed their ace on the DL one week ago, they hoped he would miss just one turn in the rotation. Now he is being sent for a follow-up MRI to determine if his lat strained has healed at all. As we predicted, he isn’t improving as quickly as expected and won’t be activated early next week. Martinez still has not picked up a baseball but hopes that the scan shows improvement so he can start his throwing program. Until then, Martinez remains a High Injury Risk. Our algorithm is showing that he needs at least one more week, but likely longer, before he should return to the mound.