Another full slate of MLB games on Saturday, April 15th, another full slate of MLB injury news. Starting pitchers are trending in the right direction (Justin Verlander, Max Fried) while others are trending in the wrong direction (Brandon Woodruff, Max Scherzer). Outfielders could be out longer than expected (Michael Harris II) while some could return earlier (Bryce Harper). As always, the MLB injury report is here to give you everything you need to know.
MLB injury report: Sunday, April 16th
Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers (shoulder) — Alarm bells went off when the Brewers announced that Woodruff would need an MRI, not just rest, for his injured shoulder — and sure enough, those fears were validated on Saturday. Woodruff has a sub-scapular strain which, while not requiring surgery, will keep Milwaukee’s ace sidelined for an extended period of time.
Craig Counsell with what we know about the latest diagnosis for Brandon Woodruff. pic.twitter.com/oYyhxyMV4q— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 15, 2023
Seems like we’re looking at an absence of at least a month or so, possibly more.
Max Scherzer (shoulder) and Justin Verlander (shoulder), New York Mets — Verlander threw his first bullpen session since being put on the injured list with that teres muscle strain, and it seems like all went well. Buck Showalter told reporters that Verlander will throw another bullpen early next week, after which will come live BP and then finally a rehab start.
Some worse news for Mets fans: Scherzer, who was initially scheduled to pitch on Sunday, had his start pushed back to this coming Wednesday due to lingering discomfort in his shoulder. Scherzer seems confident it’s no big deal, but we’ve seen this movie before:
Max Scherzer talks about the soreness that has pushed his next start back to Wednesday, and says he dealt with a similar situation in 2019:— SNY (@SNYtv) April 15, 2023
"I respect it, I know what it is, but I know that if you just give it a little rest, get out of it, it goes away." pic.twitter.com/SBXTm4jWwb
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves (back) — It was originally thought that Harris would be able to return as soon as he was eligible, but it looks like last year’s NL Rookie of the Year will be out a little while longer as he’s still yet to start taking BP again.
Michael Harris II provides an update on his status:— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) April 15, 2023
"Hopefully I'm playing this week sometime, but I'm feeling good." pic.twitter.com/U992abTU1I
Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays (ribs) — Romano took a line drive off the stomach while nailing down Toronto’s 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, but X-rays confirmed that there are no fractures — just (“just”) a rib contusion. Romano’s thrown back-to-back days so was likely to be unavailable on Sunday anyway, but he may need an additional game or two off to recover.
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies (Tommy John) — It feels like it’s been one bit of positive news after another about the former NL MVP’s rehab. Saturday’s item: Manager Rob Thomson said that Harper may not even need a Minor League assignment before returning to the Phillies this summer. He’s still on track to return at some point in late May or early June.
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves (hamstring) — Manager Brian Snitker said that the lefty has passed all the tests of his injured hamstring, and now the only thing keeping him from returning early next week is the question of whether he’ll need a rehab assignment first.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres (toe/shoulder) — Musgrove is set to make another rehab start on Sunday afternoon, and that one could be the last before a return to the San Diego rotation next weekend. Nick Martinez could be the odd man out given how well Seth Lugo has pitched so far this year.
Chas McCormick, Houston Astros (vision issues) — Manager Dusty Baker said McCormick was doing much better Saturday after being removed from Friday night’s game with concerning vision issues — Houston’s leadoff man isn’t likely to need an IL stint but might get another day or two off just in case.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said Chas McCormick won't play Sunday. "I'll probably give him another day. He's still being evaluated. He's a lot better than he was when he left yesterday."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) April 16, 2023
Jon Gray, Texas Rangers (arm) — Jon Gray was forced to leave his start against the Astros early with what he was sure was a broken arm after he was hit by a comebacker from Yanier Diaz.
Rangers starter Jon Gray is coming out of the game after being hit on the elbow with a 109.3 mph line drive comebacker from Yainer Diaz pic.twitter.com/rY4yCuCU7v— kennedi landry (@kennlandry) April 15, 2023
Good news, though: X-rays came back clean and Gray expects to make his next start against the Oakland Athletics next week.
Joc Pederson (wrist)/Michael Conforto (calf), San Francisco Giants — Conforto sat out the Giants’ loss to the Tigers on Saturday but was available to pinch-hit, so it seems like he could be back in the lineup soon.
No such luck for Pederson, though, whose sprained wrist forced him onto the IL. Matt Beaty was recalled to take Pederson’s spot in the lineup, but the real winner could be J.D. Davis who feels like a natural fit for DH at-bats even when David Villar is starting at third. Davis has been swinging a red-hot bat and is worth an add in most fantasy leagues.
Joey Gallo (side), Minnesota Twins — Minnesota’s lineup continues to get healthier. After Max Kepler returned on Saturday, manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters that Gallo’s side is pain-free and he should be back with the Major League club early next week against the Boston Red Sox. Gallo was flashing his old power stroke when he went on the shelf and is worth a stream in hitter’s parks or whenever he’s facing a string of right-handers.
Masataka Yoshida (hamstring), Boston Red Sox — Yoshida missed Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, but manager Alex Cora expects to use the outfielder as his DH on Sunday. Of course, Cora also said he thought Yoshida would play Saturday, so who knows at this point.
Kyle Bradish (foot), Baltimore Orioles — Bradish threw 83 pitches in a rehab outing at Double-A, which could set him up to return to Baltimore’s rotation in the middle of next week. The 26-year-old found something down the stretch last year (3.28 ERA after the All-Star break) and should be locked into a starting spot as long as he’s healthy, which makes him worth an add in 12-team and deeper leagues — especially with pitching at such a premium right now.
Daniel Bard (anxiety), Colorado Rockies — Bard threw two innings in extended Spring Training, and apparently all went well. It’s tough to get a sense for the reliever’s timetable for return — it all depends on how Bard is feeling each day — but it seems like that could come in the next couple of weeks. Pierce Johnson will probably remain Colorado’s closer even when Bard returns, although he could certainly lose the job with a rough outing or two.
Adam Wainwright (groin), St. Louis Cardinals — Wainwright threw a 45-pitch simulated game on Friday and told reporters Saturday that he planned on making his first rehab stint on Tuesday. If he only needs one, he could be back in St. Louis’ rotation by next weekend.
Michael Brantley (shoulder), Houston Astros — It seems like the Astros’ lineup could be getting some reinforcements relatively soon:
Dusty Baker on Michael Brantley: “He hit live yesterday..He’s ramping up.” pic.twitter.com/Q8YvxsvJ7m— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 15, 2023
Brantley will still need time to ramp up, but a May return seems reasonable.