Even by the standards of a downright chaotic 2023 season, Wednesday, April 26 had too many injuries to keep track of. Cy Young Award winners are out for the season. MVP candidates may need to go on the IL. George Springer, Javier Baez, Josh Jung, Kenta Maeda and German Marquez were all forced to leave early — and that was just the matinee games. Thurdsay’s MLB injury report is jam-packed to get you caught up to speed.
MLB injury report: Thursday, April 27
Robbie Ray (elbow), Seattle Mariners — You always fear the worst when it comes to elbow injuries, and the worst came true for Ray on Thursday — the 2021 AL Cy Young winner’s flexor tendon strain, which has kept him out since his first start of the season, will require surgery to repair. The lefty will miss the rest of the season in a huge blow to the Mariners’ playoff hopes.
Yordan Alvarez (neck), Houston Astros — Alvarez missed yet another game with the neck pain that’s bothered him since last week, and at this point it seems like the All-Star may need an IL stint if only to avoid wasting a roster spot — despite Dusty Baker’s wishes to the contrary.
Taijuan Walker (forearm), Philadelphia Phillies — Walker was forced to leave his start against the Mariners on Wednesday night after just four innings with what the team termed right forearm soreness. Manager Rob Thomson made it sound like the move was strictly precautionary, and they don’t fear any serious injury, but we’ve heard that before this season (ahem, Brandon Woodruff). Philly will reevaluate the righty tomorrow, and we’ll be holding our breath til then.
Cristopher Sanchez would like start in Walker’s place if he’s forced to miss time, while Ranger Suarez needs at least a couple more rehab starts.
Kenta Maeda (elbow), Minnesota Twins — Well this is a disaster. First it was arm fatigue after his first start back from Tommy John surgery, then it was a comebacker off his ankle, and on Wednesday against the New York Yankees just about everything went wrong for Maeda. The righty was tagged for a whopping 11 runs in just three-plus innings of work before leaving the game with what appeared to be back soreness. His fastball velocity was also down in the high-80s, and manager Rocco Baldelli announced after the game that Maeda would be undergoing an MRI due to elbow soreness — though the team believes it’s unrelated to the aforementioned Tommy John.
He’s clearly not right at the moment, and no matter what the specific diagnosis is he’ll likely need extended rest and rehab. Should that come to pass, Bailey Ober would get the call from Triple-A and become a recommended add in most fantasy leagues.
German Marquez (triceps), Colorado Rockies — Less than four innings into his return from the injured list, Marquez left Wednesday’s loss to the Cleveland Guardians due to arm pain he felt immediately after throwing a pitch. The team says that Marquez’s current discomfort is in his triceps, not the forearm strain that put him on the shelf a couple of weeks ago.
#Rockies RHP Germán Márquez had an exam in Cleveland after leaving Wednesday's game. Pain is in right triceps -- nor forearm, where the previous injury was. Doctor here is encouraged. MRI in Denver tomorrow.— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) April 26, 2023
Even still, it doesn’t sound good.
George Springer (hand), Toronto Blue Jays — At one point this afternoon it seemed like just about everybody was going for X-rays after getting hit by a pitch. That group included Springer, who took a Michael Kopech fastball off his hand and was forced to leave the game. Thankfully, X-rays came back negative, and Springer isn’t expected to miss more than a game or two with a hand contusion.
Javier Baez (hand), Detroit Tigers — Just minutes after Springer’s exit, Baez took a Freddy Peralta pitch off the same hand he injured while sliding into a base last week. The shortstop’s X-rays were also negative, and here’s hoping this won’t interrupt his current hot streak — Baez has slashed .378/.415/.487 over his last 10 games.
Josh Jung (hand), Texas Rangers — Seriously, it was just getting ridiculous by this point. Luckily, Jung’s didn’t seem too serious even at the time — the third baseman ran the bases and took the field in the next half inning before eventually leaving. His X-rays were, you guessed it, negative, and he’s considered day to day.
Travis Jankowski (hip), Texas Rangers — Jankowski was shockingly not hit by a pitch. Instead, the outfielder was forced to leave Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds with what’s being called left hip tightness. Jankowski has been hitting second regularly against right-handers and currently boasts a .989 OPS, so he’d be a big loss if he has to miss any time.
Michael Harris II (back), Atlanta Braves — Isn’t this a sight for sore eyes:
Harris II made his first rehab appearance on Wednesday, and the dynamic outfielder immediately stole a base just put to rest any questions about his balky back. He should be back some time in the next few days.
Tim Anderson (knee), Chicago White Sox — Anderson also appears to be nearing a return, as Pedro Grifol told reporters that the shortstop would start a rehab assignment on Thursday. Chicago desperately needs its table-setter back, as the team has lost seven in a row with Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez stuck in miserable slumps.
Jose Quintana (ribs), New York Mets — For the first time since he went on the shelf, we’ve got some news on the Mets lefty:
This Friday, José Quintana has his six-week follow-up appointment coming off rib surgery. He's hopeful doctors will clear him to begin throwing again for the first time since March. "I can't wait to start playing catch," Quintana said.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 26, 2023
If all goes well on Friday, Quintana will finally begin a throwing program that will put him on the path to a return at some point in June. Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto will likely be the fourth and fifth starters as long as Quintana and Carlos Carrasco are out.
Mike Yastrzemski (side), San Francisco Giants — Yaz was a late scratch from the Giants lineup on Wednesday with side discomfort. The team doesn’t seem overly concerned, but sides and obliques have already wreaked plenty of havoc this season, so we’ll call him tentatively day to day for now.
Will Smith (concussion)/J.D. Martinez (back), Los Angeles Dodgers — Smith told reporters on Wednesday that he’s been symptom-free for about a week now, which certainly bodes well for his chances to return at some point in the next few days. Martinez, meanwhile, missed another game with back tightness. Martinez and Dave Roberts initially downplayed the injury, saying it was a day to day thing, and we’ll assume that holds true for now. The newly-recalled Michael Busch figures to get plenty of DH at-bats in Martinez’s stead and is a worthy streaming play.
Jameson Taillon (groin), Chicago Cubs — Taillon played catch for the first time since landing on the IL with a “mild to moderate” groin strain. It doesn’t seem too severe, and now that he’s back throwing he could return in mid-May if he doesn’t require a rehab assignment. The righty was showing improved swing-and-miss stuff in his first year with Chicago and is an intriguing IL stash.
Ramon Laureano (groin), Oakland Athletics — Laureano worked out with Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate on Wednesday and is slated to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday. The team is going to wait and see how he feels before determining how many games he needs, but with how well Brent Rooker, Esteury Ruiz and Connor Capel are playing, the A’s don’t really miss him.
Austin Hays (hand), Baltimore Orioles — Hays missed another game with a bruised hand on Wednesday, but the team doesn’t expect him to need an IL stint and he’ll be back at some point in the next couple days.