If you thought that the lighter MLB slate on Thursday would allow us to have a break from all of these early-season injuries, well, you haven’t been paying much attention to this year so far. Even with just seven games on the docket, we still saw a number of notable players go down, from the starting shortstop on a World Series contender (the Atlanta Braves’ Orlando Arcia) to a possible AL Cy Young Award winner (the Tampa Bay Rays’ Jeffrey Springs).
The Friday, April 14th edition of the MLB injury report is here to help you get up to speed.
MLB injury report: Friday, April 14th
Jeffrey Springs, Tampa Bay Rays (arm) — Springs had been arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the early going, with 13 shutout innings under his belt through two starts. He was cruising again on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox until the top of the fourth, when he threw a pitch and immediately began flexing his hand in discomfort.
Jeffrey Springs was removed from the game after showing discomfort throwing a pitch pic.twitter.com/W1gYv4mLvd— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 13, 2023
The lefty tried to throw a few warm-up tosses but things weren’t feeling right and he was removed from the game. The team announced that Springs is suffering from ulnar neuritis — essentially inflammation of a nerve in the arm that can lead to numbness or tingling in the hand. There’s no timetable for his return, and this condition seems to be one that could cost him a couple of weeks or a couple of months depending on how his arm responds.
Orlando Arcia, Atlanta Braves (wrist) — Arcia told reporters he’d be fine after he was hit by a pitch in the wrist on Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds, but unfortunately a CT scan begged to differ — the shortstop was diagnosed with a microfracture that will require an IL stint to let heal. Arcia had hit the ground running ever since winning the starting job in Spring Training, with a .911 OPS so far this season.
If there’s a silver lining though, it’s that the Braves have top prospect Vaughn Grissom waiting in the wings and currently hitting the cover off the ball in Triple-A. Grissom flashed major potential with the bat in his first taste of the Majors last year, but he comes with major defensive questions.
Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins (arm) — Already dealing with several injuries to their lineup, the Twins will also have to rejigger their rotation this weekend against the New York Yankees. Maeda, who’s making his return from Tommy John surgery, will need his next start postponed due to what’s being called arm fatigue. The team is understandably being extra cautious here, and Maeda’s stuff has looked fine over his first two starts, but it’s still a disconcerting development. Minnesota will reportedly call up Louie Varland from Triple-A to start on Friday in the Bronx.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres (toe/shoulder) — Musgrove’s rehab was delayed when some shoulder pain popped up after a Minor League start, but the San Diego ace is set to throw another bullpen on Friday. If all goes well, he should need just one more rehab start before finally returning to the Major League rotation.
Harrison Bader (oblique) and DJ LeMahieu (quad), New York Yankees — Some good news and not-so-good news on the injury front for New York. The good: Harrison Bader is finally set to begin a rehab stint next week after nursing an oblique strain since early in Spring Training. The not-so-good: DJ LeMahieu missed another game with what’s being called quad tightness. He’s still listed as day-to-day, and Aaron Boone doesn’t seem overly concerned:
DJ LeMahieu (tight quadriceps) update:— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 13, 2023
“He’s doing better,” Aaron Boone said. “I told him last night I was going to keep him out of the lineup [Thursday]. I know, just going through his [pregame] stuff, he felt like he was doing better. So hopefully it’s not much more.”
Still, we’ve seen this movie before with LeMahieu, and his health is vital to the Yankees’ success.
Michael Conforto, San Francisco Giants (calf) — Conforto abruptly left Wednesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and manager Gabe Kapler has revealed that the outfielder is currently battling a tight calf. He’s day to day for now, but this is notoriously fickle injury — just ask Mike Trout — and Conforto doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to staying on the field.
Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox (hamstring) — The outfielder was out again on Thursday with a tight hamstring, but manager Alex Cora expects him to be back at some point during this weekend’s series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals (neck) — Despite the team’s efforts to downplay it, concern has mounted as Carlson missed game after game with neck pain. So it’s a relief to hear that the outfielder was actually available on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and only sat due to normal lineup considerations. He could be back in action on Friday.
Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins (knee) — Kepler could come off the injured list when first eligible this weekend, per Rocco Baldelli.
Max Kepler is on target to return to the lineup this weekend. He's on the 10-day IL retroactive to April 5. Could be active as soon as Saturday. #MNTwins— DanHayesMLB (@DanHayesMLB) April 13, 2023
Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles (back) — Anthony Santander has gotten off to a slow start this season, and on Thursday manager Brandon Hyde admitted the outfielder has been dealing with back pain. He was allegedly available off the bench on Thursday after taking batting practice before the game, and he should be able to return at some point this weekend.
Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds (toe) — Senzel will probably never make good on the potential that made him a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball once upon a time, but it was still nice to see him finally get called back up to Cincy after rehabbing from offseason surgery to repair a broken toe.
"It's a little emotional ... It can be a big year for me."— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) April 13, 2023
- Nick Senzel on getting called-up to the #Reds (after starting the season in AAA Louisville)
The call came while he was in Toledo – the same place he was when he first got called-up to the big leagues in 2019.@WCPO https://t.co/6h4JsGglUa pic.twitter.com/AAyylgiVC2
Senzel figures to be just a bench piece for the Reds, who can play all over the diamond and start against left-handers.