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MLB injury report for Wednesday, May 31

We provide updates on notable injury news, providing fantasy baseball and betting analysis on Wednesday, May 31.

Harrison Bader of the New York Yankees at bat during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Orioles won 9-6. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

A full 15-game slate on Tuesday night means a full MLB injury report the next morning, and today’s is a doozy — with not one, not two, but three dynamic outfielders (Harrison Bader, Cedric Mullins, Riley Greene) possibly requiring trips to the IL. You can find updates with the latest on all that and much more below.

MLB injury report: Wednesday, May 31

Harrison Bader (hamstring)/Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), New York Yankees — The writing was on the wall after Bader pulled up lame running to first and was forced to leave Monday night’s win over the Seattle Mariners, and sure enough, the outfielder has been placed on the IL for the second time this season:

The team sent Bader to get an MRI on Tuesday morning before making the decision, although it’s unclear as of yet what the test revealed or the severity of the strain. Bader had been a dynamic presence in New York’s lineup, with an .806 OPS including six homers and six steals over his first 26 games of the season, but talent has never been his issue — availability has.

Greg Allen figures to spend a lot of time in center field while Bader is out, with Franchy Cordero recalled to add additional depth. It’s not all bad news for the Yankees outfield, though: Giancarlo Stanton began his rehab assignment on Tuesday night at Double-A Somerset.

Stanton isn’t expected to need more than a couple of games before returning to the Majors, with he, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle all expected to be with the team this weekend for their series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Cedric Mullins (groin), Baltimore Orioles — Bader wasn’t the only dynamic center fielder to hit the IL on Tuesday. Mullins similarly left Monday’s game after an injury sustained while running to first, only in his case it’s a groin strain rather than a hamstring issue. The outfielder was put on the injured list on Tuesday afternoon, with the team signing Aaron Hicks to a Major League deal in a corresponding move. With Kyle Stowers and Colten Cowser both hurt as well, Baltimore doesn’t have a ton of options for replacing its star, so here’s hoping a change of scenery will allow Hicks to regain the form he showed a few years ago. There’s not yet a timetable for Mullins’ return to action.

Riley Greene (leg)/Eduardo Rodriguez (finger)/Matt Vierling (back), Detroit Tigers — A rough day for Detroit, as three key contributors — including arguably the team’s two best players — suffered injuries that could keep them out a bit.

Rodriguez was diagnosed with a pulley rupture — a complete tear of a ligament in the hand — on his left index finger. The lefty, who was off to a career year so far with a 2.12 ERA over his first 11 starts, will be shut down for the next 7-10 days and reevaluated from there, with a chance of returning after two or three weeks. Tarik Skubal (elbow) and Matt Manning (foot) are both progressing well in their throwing programs, but neither has even gone out on a rehab assignment yet, meaning Detroit will have to scramble a bit to fill Rodriguez’s rotation spot.

Arguably more concerning is the status of Greene, who was pulled from Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers after wincing while running down a fly ball. All the team will say for now is that it’s an injury to his lower left leg while they wait for test results to come back.

The former top-five pick had been hitting the cover off the ball in May, with a 1.018 OPS, four homers and three steals this month. With Vierling also landing on the IL, the Tigers suddenly find themselves strapped for outfielders, which could result in top prospect Justyn Henry-Malloy (.870 OPS at Triple-A) getting promoted in the coming days.

TJ Friedl (hamstring)/Nick Senzel (knee)/Wil Myers (shoulder), Cincinnati Reds — It was also a rough day for Cincinnati, despite their big win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Just days after returning off the injured list from an oblique strain, Friedl was forced to leave early after tweaking his hamstring while running to first, although there’s apparently a chance the outfielder will avoid another stint on the IL.

Alarm bells went off when the oft-injured Senzel was scratched from the lineup with right knee soreness — not the same knee that cost him much of the past two years, concerning nonetheless — but it sounds like it was just a precautionary move. Myers, meanwhile, is fully recovered from the kidney stones that initially put him on the IL but is apparently now dealing with a shoulder strain. There’s not yet a timetable for his return.

Julio Urias (hamstring), Los Angeles Dodgers — After a slight setback in his rehab, Urias now seems to be back on track:

The lefty still isn’t expected to require a rehab assignment.

Xander Bogaerts (wrist), San Diego Padres — Bogaerts continues to try and play through the wrist ailment that’s been bothering him of late, but with his production dipping, it’s fair to wonder whether some time off would do the start shortstop good. Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t think so, telling reporters on Tuesday that he doesn’t think Bogaerts will require a trip to the IL. He has a measly .536 OPS over the past month, though, so something has to give soon.

Jose Alvarado (elbow), Philadelphia Phillies — Alvarado’s pause in his throwing program was apparently nothing to worry about, as the Phillies closer is set to progress to facing live hitters in BP on Wednesday afternoon. Should that go well, the next step will likely be a Minor League stint, with a possible return to action as early as next weekend. It can’t come soon enough for Philly, as Alvarado’s posted a 0.63 ERA so far this season while Craig Kimbrel and Gregory Soto have wobbled a bit in his absence.

Pete Fairbanks (hip), Tampa Bay Rays — A bit more info on the Tampa closer’s status after he tweaked his hip while warming up over the weekend.

We’ll know more in about a week as to whether Fairbanks will able to start ramping up again, while Jason Adam will likely handle ninth-inning duties in the meantime.

Trevor Rogers (biceps)/AJ Puk (elbow)/Jazz Chisholm (toe), Miami Marlins — Miami got some positive news on three of its more important players on Tuesday. Rogers, shut down since mid-April with biceps soreness, made his first rehab start at Single-A Jupiter on Tuesday night and looked ... well, like Trevor Rogers:

Puk, too, began a rehab assignment on Tuesday, striking out the side in his inning of work at Double-A — as replacement Dylan Floro was busy melting down against the San Diego Padres, to boot. The lefty should ease right back into the closer’s role whenever he’s ready. And last but not least, Chisholm returned to the team on Tuesday to get his turf toe reevaluated; if swelling has gone down sufficiently, he could start ramping up baseball activities this week.

Aaron Civale (oblique)/Triston McKenzie (shoulder), Cleveland Guardians — After firing 88 pitches in a rehab outing Sunday for Triple-A Columbus, Civale is officially slated to make his return to the big league rotation, with Terry Francona penciling him in to start Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. Next up was McKenzie, who took the mound in Columbus on Tuesday night — and while the righty looked just fine, Mother Nature conspired against him with an ill-timed rain delay after three innings. Given that he only threw 43 pitches, it’s likely that McKenzie will need one more tune-up outing before returning at some point next week.

Adam Duvall (wrist), Boston Red Sox — After nearly two months on the sidelines, Duvall finally kicked off a rehab stint at Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night. The outfielder is expected to need a long stay in the Minors given the nature of his wrist fracture and how much time he missed, but he’s reportedly targeting June 9 against the Yankees for his return.

Jesse Winker (neck), Milwaukee Brewers — Winker’s neck first began bothering him last week, and now it’s apparently grown serious enough to put the DH on the IL for the time being. He was off to an abysmal start in his first year in Milwaukee, sitting on a .546 OPS — a far cry from what the team expected when it dealt Kolten Wong to Seattle to acquire him over the winter. It’s also worth noting that Winker experienced similar neck pain back in 2019, eventually requiring surgery in fall of that year to fix a cervical disc bulge, so the team could choose to exercise even more caution.

Victor Robles (back), Washington Nationals — Robles wasn’t thought to need much time on the shelf when he was placed on the IL back in early May, but three weeks later the center fielder has yet to progress past hitting the ball off a tee. The speedster got off to a solid start this year, with a 112 OPS+ and eight steals in 31 games. There’s not yet a timetable for his return.