MLB injury report: Thursday, June 1
Justin Steele (forearm), Chicago Cubs — Steele had his breakout season derailed on Wednesday afternoon, as the lefty was forced to leave his start against the Tampa Bay Rays with tightness in his left forearm. Manager David Ross said after the game that the team wasn’t “sounding any alarms” just yet, and that they won’t know more until the lefty has tests done later today. Steele has been sensational for Chicago so far, with a 2.77 ERA on the year, and had retired the first nine batters he faced on Wednesday. Hayden Wesneski came on in long relief and would likely fill Steele’s spot in the rotation if he’s forced to miss time.
Riley Greene (leg), Detroit Tigers — Elsewhere in breakout seasons derailed: After leaving Tuesday’s game early with an apparent leg injury, Greene was placed on the 10-day IL Wednesday with a stress fracture in his left fibula. AJ Hinch stressed that the team won’t have a timetable for his return until he sees a specialist in the coming days, but this has generally been an injury that takes around six weeks to heal. It’s a huge blow for both player and team, as Greene looked like a budding star while posting a 1.008 OPS over the month of May.
Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring)/Josh Donaldson (hamstring)/Tommy Kahnle (biceps), New York Yankees — The cavalry is coming, specifically to Los Angeles:
Giancarlo Stanton is flying to Los Angeles with Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle. #Yankees— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) May 31, 2023
Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle will all reportedly be joining the Yankees for the team’s weekend set against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a much-needed boost to a lineup that’s been making it work with smoke and mirrors of late. Manager Aaron Boone wouldn’t confirm that all three would be activated on Friday, but he did concede that it was possible, while adding that “for the most part, I feel like they’re ready to go”. Stanton will likely serve as the DH for the next couple of weeks as New York takes it slow with its star slugger, while Donaldson should start regularly at third base.
Carlos Rodon (back), New York Yankees — Also headed to L.A. this weekend: Rodon, although not to make his long-awaited season debut. The lefty will instead be in town to throw a bullpen session, with the hope of progressing to facing live hitters next week if all goes well. Rodon threw his last bullpen on Monday and hopes to join the team at some point before the All-Star break.
Jacob deGrom (elbow), Texas Rangers — deGrom’s rehab process has been put on pause, but don’t worry Rangers fans: The righty is just heading back home to Florida to be there for the upcoming birth of his child. The plan is for deGrom to rejoin the team at some point this weekend or early next week, at which point they’ll discuss next steps — and whether the Cy Young winner, who’s progressed to throwing bullpen sessions, is ready to face live hitters.
Eloy Jimenez (leg)/Yoan Moncada (back), Chicago White Sox — Apparently two of Chicago’s recently returned stars are playing at less than 100 percent right now. Jimenez is dealing with what’s been termed a minor leg injury, and while it hasn’t stopped him from swinging the bat pretty well of late — and manager Pedro Grifol plans to use the slugger in the outfield this weekend — it’s hard not to fear the worst given his injury history. Hopefully it won’t be serious enough to keep him out of the lineup.
Moncada, on the other hand, has struggled mightily since coming back from a back ailment, with just a .630 OPS since May 12. He’s still been in the lineup just about every day, but according to Grifol, he’s playing through some lingering pain:
"He loves to play the game and he's not afraid to play hurt, he's not afraid to play with pain" said Grifol of Yoán Moncada. "There's times where (his back) really grabs and there's times when he feels really good. Yesterday he was at first base and he scored from first in 11.1s"— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 31, 2023
That certainly doesn’t sound great, and for as much confidence as Grifol has in the third baseman, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get some time off soon — especially given Jake Burger’s success at the plate this year.
Wander Franco (shoulder), Tampa Bay Rays — What was thought to be a routine day off for the Rays star wasn’t quite so simple, as Franco is apparently feeling some lingering shoulder discomfort from a slide into home on Tuesday. The team isn’t worried about it long-term, but he could miss another game or two until he’s fully healed.
Alec Bohm (hamstring), Philadelphia Phillies — A day after returning to the lineup, it seems like Bohm isn’t quite over his hamstring tightness after all. The third baseman was held out of the lineup against the New York Mets on Wednesday in order to undergo an MRI, and this certainly doesn’t seem too promising:
Alec Bohm went for an MRI today on his bothersome left hamstring. Club is awaiting results. He’s not sure whether he will need time on the injured list or not.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) May 31, 2023
Philly is already weak at the corners due to injuries to Rhys Hoskins and Darick Hall, and Kody Clemens and Edmundo Sosa will be thrust into everyday roles if Bohm has to miss time.
Michael Conforto (heel), San Francisco Giants — The Bay Area held its breath when Conforto — in the middle of a resurgent year after injuries derailed his career with the Mets — was spotted limping around the Giants locker room on Wednesday morning. The outfielder was complaining of pain in his heel, but an MRI revealed some good news: It’s just a bruise rather than anything structural, and Conforto is officially day-to-day. He might sit this weekend while the pain subsides, but an IL stint seems unlikely.
Aaron Hicks (calf), Baltimore Orioles — A real roller coaster for Hicks in his O’s debut, as the former Yankees pariah went 2-for-2 with a walk and a pair of runs scored before being forced to leave in the seventh inning due to injury. Fortunately for Baltimore’s depleted outfield, it was just calf cramps, and Hicks should be back in the lineup soon.
Anthony Rendon (groin), Los Angeles Angels — Having progressed to fielding work earlier this week, it appears Rendon is almost ready to return to the Angels lineup — specifically by next week’s homestand, according to manager Phil Nevin. Rendon hasn’t hit for a ton of power this year, but he’s still swung the bat well and his defense remains very solid at the hot corner. His return could push the recently returned Jared Walsh to the bench, as Gio Urshela had been playing a lot at first base prior to Rendon going down.
Jose Alvarado (elbow), Philadelphia Phillies — Full speed ahead for Alvarado: Philly’s injured closer cleared a big hurdle when he threw 13 pitches of live batting practice on Wednesday, the first time he’s faced live hitters since landing on the IL in mid-May. There’s been nothing official yet, but it’s thought that the next step from here could be a rehab assignment. The lefty had been utterly dominant before the injury, and the Phillies would certainly rather have him in the ninth than Craig Kimbrel or Gregory Soto.
Kenta Maeda (elbow), Minnesota Twins — Over a month after landing on the IL with a triceps strain, we have our first new Maeda sighting:
Kenta Maeda struck out the side in order in the first inning for the Saints. Topped at 90.9 mph. pic.twitter.com/rvJBRy03ZV— Tom Froemming (@TFTwins) May 30, 2023
The righty was solid in his first rehab outing at Triple-A, averaging over 90 mph with his fastball while striking out four in two scoreless innings. Minnesota will almost certainly play it cautious with Maeda, given his recent Tommy John surgery and how much he seemed to be laboring through a miserable April, but he should be back in the rotation before the end of June — likely in place of rookie Louie Varland.
AJ Puk (elbow), Miami Marlins — Puk looked great in his first rehab appearance on Tuesday, but manager Skip Schumaker pumped the brakes a bit on an immediate return, saying that the reliever would need to pitch in the Minors on back-to-back days before coming back to the Majors. That could happen as early as this weekend, but either way, the lefty should be back in the closer’s role shortly — especially given Dylan Floro’s recent struggles.
Michael Grove (groin), Los Angeles Dodgers — Finally some help for L.A.’s beleagured rotation:
Michael Grove will start on Saturday against the Yankees, per #Dodgers manager Dave Roberts— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) May 31, 2023
Grove, who’s been out since April after suffering a groin strain at Wrigley Field, has looked very sharp over two rehab starts, posting a 1.80 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 10 innings of work. With Julio Urias’ return also looming, it would seem that Noah Syndergaard — shelled again by the Washington Nationals on Wednesday — may be out of a job soon.
Adalberto Mondesi (knee), Boston Red Sox — More than a year after the dynamic shortstop underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL, Mondesi appears to have stalled out a bit in his rehab. He’s currently down at the team’s extended spring training, but while he’s participating in some baseball activities, he doesn’t appear to be particularly close to playing in a game. Manager Alex Cora has said that it’s really just a matter of pain tolerance at this point, but apparently things aren’t feeling quite right. It sounds like we could be looking at a return after the All-Star break at the very earliest.