Another day, another major injury that could affect the course of the 2023 MLB season. This time it was Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II, who was placed on the injured list with a back injury after leaving Thursday night’s win over the San Diego Padres for what was thought to be precautionary reasons.
The MLB injury report for Saturday, April 8th has everything you need to know about Harris II’s prognosis as well as updates on Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon and more big names.
MLB injury report: Saturday, April 8th
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves (back) — Harris was removed from Thursday night’s game after successfully stealing second base. Braves manager Brian Snitker tried to tamp down concern by calling it simply a precautionary move, but clearly that wasn’t the case. Atlanta is calling it a lower back strain for now, with no timetable for his return, but back injuries are always cause for concern — you never know whether and for how long they’ll linger, especially for as dynamic a player as Harris II.
Fantasy owners looking for an outfielder to fill Harris II’s shoes should consider power/speed names like James Outman, Jose Siri and the Cincinnati Reds’ TJ Friedl.
Justin Verlander, New York Mets (shoulder) — Verlander is chomping at the bit to make his Mets debut, and he told reporters that it could come sooner than initially expected when he was shut down with a strain of his teres muscle this spring.
Justin Verlander says it is "very reasonable" to expect that he'll pitch before the end of April: pic.twitter.com/UtSNRnWHW2— SNY (@SNYtv) April 7, 2023
Carlos Rodon, New York Yankees — Rodon appears to be making progress from the forearm discomfort that shut him down early in Spring Training
Carlos Rodón will throw live BP on Monday, per Aaron Boone. #Yankees— Bronx Bombers News (@NewsBronx) April 7, 2023
Live batting practice is typically the last step before ramping up to actual games, meaning that a rehab assignment (and possible late April/early May return) could be around the corner. Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German have both struggled at the back end of New York’s rotation, so Rodon (and Luis Severino) can’t return soon enough.
Josh Donaldson, New York Yankees — Alas, the news wasn’t so great elsewhere in Yankeeland (or maybe it was, depending on your opinion of Donaldson’s performance last year). Donaldson pulled up lame during Wednesday’s win over the Phillies, and he’ll likely need an IL stint to let it heal — on the plus side, this should mean more Oswaldo Cabrera (maybe even an Oswald Peraza call-up?).
Darick Hall, Philadelphia Phillies — First Rhys Hoskins went down with a torn ACL in Spring Training, now his replacement is on the shelf with a thumb injury sustained while sliding into a base against the Yankees on Wednesday.
Darick Hall will have surgery on his thumb and be out for a month or two. Kody Clemens will be taking his place for while. Phillies really hit with injuries. https://t.co/Xhmj3W5m6q— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 7, 2023
An extended absence for Hall means that an already-hampered Phillies lineup now gets even thinner — Nick Castellanos hit cleanup on Friday against the Reds, which is not what you want — and could turn Philadelphia into a decent streaming option for opposing starters. Kody Clemens will get most of the first-base at-bats by default, but he’s not a recommended add.
Seiya Suzuki, Chicago Cubs — Suzuki (and reliever Brandon Hughes) is set to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A today, and it sounds like the outfielder could be back on the North Side as early as next weekend.
The 28-year-old seemed to figure things out as his first MLB season went along last year, finishing with 14 homers and nine steals in just 111 games, and given his strong underlying metrics he could be a difference-maker for fantasy teams when he returns.
Jake Odorizzi, Texas Rangers — One of the Rangers’ many starting pitching acquisitions for 2023 may never see the field in a Texas uniform, as Odorizzi has officially been ruled out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He’ll be a free agent this winter.
Mitch Haniger, San Francisco Giants — Fantasy owners who took a shot on Haniger hoping that this would finally be the year he could stay healthy have already been disappointed, as it seems that the oblique strain that’s kept Haniger sidelined thus far isn’t healing as hoped.
SF Giants outfielder Mitch Haniger suffered back tightness while rehabbing from oblique injury, still in ‘early stages’ of recovery https://t.co/Aq7dbTIqWi— Bay Area Sports HQ (@BayAreaSportsHQ) April 7, 2023
“Early stages” is never what you want to hear, especially for someone with Haniger’s injury history. The slugger is just progressing to hitting off a tee, so a rehab assignment doesn’t seem imminent. This should create more at-bats for Blake Sabol, who carries catcher eligibility and could be a sneaky waiver add.