Saturday featured plenty of good news on the injury front, as stars around MLB are inching closer to a return to the field after the start of this season was starting to look like a MASH unit. But of course, this is still 2023 we’re talking about, so we couldn’t have Jacob deGrom survive his wrist scare or Tyler Glasnow take a big step forward without Sandy Alcantara’s health suddenly put in doubt.
There’s a lot to keep track of as always, but our daily MLB injury report is here to help you sort through it all.
MLB injury report: Sunday, April 23rd
Sandy Alcantara (biceps), Miami Marlins — At this point the Marlins must be cursing the very existence of the biceps muscle. A day after Trevor Rogers was put on the IL with a biceps strain (joining Johnny Cueto with the same ailment), Sandy Alcantara abruptly had his start pushed back a few days as he deals with what the team is calling biceps tendinitis. The Marlins don’t seem to think it’s too serious — the hope is that he’ll only miss one turn through the rotation — but at this point it’s best not to assume.
Jacob deGrom (wrist), Texas Rangers — Thankfully, the news is better for deGrom. Despite the team’s assurances that deGrom was removed from his start last weekend merely as a precaution, Rangers fans had been holding their breath all week waiting for the other shoe to drop. The team has made it official, though: deGrom will make his start on Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Athletics and should be full go.
Tyler Glasnow (oblique)/Zach Eflin (back), Tampa Bay Rays — For all that’s gone right for the Rays this season, their rotation has been ravaged by injuries, but they got some positive updates on Saturday. After a stint on the IL with back tightness, Eflin is set to return on Sunday and start against the Chicago White Sox. Glasnow, meanwhile, is set to take a big step towards his 2023 debut on Monday when he faces live hitters for the first time since going down with an oblique strain in March. He’ll likely need to do so multiple times before starting a rehab assignment, but he’s on track for a mid-May return if all goes well.
Michael Harris II (back), Atlanta Braves — Well this is a sight for sore eyes:
Harris II took BP on Saturday for the first time since landing on the injured list with back pain. BP was thought to be the last hurdle the outfielder had to clear before playing in Minor League games, so stay tuned for more updates.
Will Smith (concussion), Los Angeles Dodgers — Smith continues to battle concussion symptoms, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll be back any time soon.
A return during this road trip doesn’t look likely for #Dodgers catcher Will Smith. There’s a chance he needs a small rehab assignment once he starts feeling better. They’re going to be careful given how delicate head injuries are.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 22, 2023
It’s obviously very important — especially for a catcher — that Smith be all the way back from any sort of head injury before he puts himself in harm’s way again, and there’s no need for the team to rush him back.
Bryce Harper (elbow), Philadelphia Phillies — At this point I’m not convinced that Harper is fully human:
Sunday marks five months since Bryce Harper had an elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery). He’s playing catch again today for the second time in three days. pic.twitter.com/UCeAC1VWcZ— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) April 22, 2023
He really might be back in early May at this rate.
Kris Bryant (hip), Colorado Rockies — Bryant has had a very hard time staying healthy in recent years, and the injury bug reared its head again on Saturday. The former NL MVP was forced to leave Colorado’s loss to the Phillies with what Bud Black described as sharp pain in his sacroiliac joint (in layman’s terms, the connection between the pelvis and the spine). Bryant is labeled day to day for now but may need an IL stint. Randal Grichuk’s return isn’t too far away, but in the meantime this should open up more playing time for Mike Moustakas and Elehuris Montero.
Carlos Carrasco (elbow)/Justin Verlander (shoulder), New York Mets — Carrasco is set to resume a throwing program early next week, as he hopes to avoid surgery to remove the bone spur in his elbow. The team should know pretty quickly whether that’s necessary if Carrasco is still feeling pain once he starts ramping back up.
A silver lining, though: We’re getting closer to seeing Verlander on the mound in a real, live baseball game. The former MVP will throw live BP on Sunday, followed by a rehab start on Saturday, April 28. If all goes well, he could be back in Queens in the first week of May.
Tim Anderson (knee), Chicago White Sox — A positive sign for Anderson: The shortstop took batting practice prior to Chicago’s game against the Rays on Saturday, and reportedly didn’t feel any pain in his injured knee. He’s still on track to return in early May, possibly after a rehab assignment.
Chas McCormick (vision issues/back), Houston Astros — McCormick participated in baseball activities on Saturday for the first time since being shut down with vision issues.
Chas McCormick is back working out with the team today, but not hitting yet. He’s eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday and could get a short rehab stint. pic.twitter.com/nnMflqVNjE— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) April 22, 2023
Now battling back pain, the outfielder seems like he could return by the end of April. Mauricio Dubon has acquitted himself well in the leadoff spot in his absence, but McCormick should reclaim the job when he comes back.
Joc Pederson (wrist), San Francisco Giants — Some good news for a floundering Giants offense: Pederson is set to be activated off the IL on Sunday and should be in the lineup for the team’s game against the Mets. Pederson was crushing the ball when he went down and should resume his place on the strong side of a platoon at DH and in the corner outfield spots with Darin Ruf, Heliot Ramos and others.
Kenta Maeda (ankle), Minnesota Twins — Maeda seems to have somehow emerged unscathed after taking a 111-mph line drive off his ankle in Boston. X-rays came back negative, and the team will have him throw a bullpen on Monday to determine whether he needs any extra rest. Bailey Ober will get a start on Sunday against the Washington Nationals as the Twins attempt to stretch their rotation; he’s excelled when given a chance in the past and is a recommended streaming play.
Jorge Mateo (hip), Baltimore Orioles — Mateo was a late scratch from Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, but don’t worry: Brandon Hyde just didn’t want the shortstop to return on a muddy track after rain hit Camden Yards prior to first pitch. He should be back in the lineup on Sunday and ready to pick up what was shaping up to be a breakout year.
Ranger Suarez (elbow), Philadephia Phillies — Suarez is just about set to begin appearing in Minor League games, with the team thinking he’ll need 3-4 starts — stretched out to 90 pitches or so — before he returns to the Majors.
Collin McHugh (shoulder), Atlanta Braves — McHugh’s rehab assignment has been going well, and the team is hopeful that his next outing will be for the big club next week.
The Braves are hoping Collin McHugh’s next outing is for the big club. He feels good, but will be down a couple days after throwing three innings in a second rehab outing on Friday night.— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) April 22, 2023
McHugh doesn’t figure to threaten A.J. Minter or the resurgent Nick Anderson at the back end of the bullpen, but he’ll certainly help the Braves’ late-inning formula.
Endy Rodriguez (forearm), Pittsburgh Pirates — Rodriguez, one of the top prospects in baseball, was pulled from his Triple-A game with what’s being called a forearm strain. Buccos GM Ben Cherington doesn’t seem too concerned, though.
Triple-A Indianapolis catcher Endy Rodriguez, the Pirates' top prospect, has a right forearm strain.— Kevin Gorman (@KevinGormanPGH) April 22, 2023
Pirates GM Ben Cherington said Rodriguez will be evaluated Monday in Pittsburgh: "Obviously, he's really important so we want to make sure we have all the information we can."
It seems mostly precautionary for now, but owners hoping he’d get the call up to the Majors may have to wait a little longer.