Wednesday’s MLB injury report contains the regular dose of bad news — this time an elbow injury to Triston McKenzie — but for the most part, stars around the league are slowly but surely getting healthy. Jazz Chisholm began a rehab assignment, while Julio Urias and Cedric Mullins are scheduled to do the same. Oh, and we finally got our first look at Carlos Rodon on the mound in a competitive game this year (okay, it wasn’t pinstripes, but still).
Read on for everything you need to know about injuries around baseball this morning.
MLB injury report: Wednesday, June 21
Carlos Rodon (back)/Aaron Judge (toe), New York Yankees — Well, it’s not quite seeing him in pinstripes, but at least Yankees fans got a glimpse of Carlos Rodon on the mound in a competitive game:
Rodon looked largely like his old self in his first Minor League appearance for Double-A Somerset, throwing 42 pitches over three innings of work and at one point striking out four batters in a row. He told reporters after the game that he felt totally fine, and while the Yankees plan on giving him two more starts in the Minors to build his pitch count up, it’s possible the lefty could make his Bronx debut soon after the All-Star break.
The news was similarly positive for Judge, who Aaron Boone said had “a little bit of a breakthrough” after receiving a second PRP injection in his injured toe. GM Brian Cashman poured cold water on that report just a little bit, saying that there was no timetable for the outfielder’s return as they see how he responds to treatment. Still, the fact that Judge is trending in the right direction is an encouraging sign.
Triston McKenzie (elbow), Cleveland Guardians — All of Cleveland held its breath when McKenzie went on the IL over the weekend due to elbow discomfort. The righty underwent an MRI yesterday, and while it’s not the worst-case scenario, it’s also not too far off:
Triston McKenzie was examined this morning. He was diagnosed with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament. He’s being shut down from throwing for at least several weeks. McKenzie guessed it’d probably be 4-6 weeks. They’ll continue to evaluate him regularly.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) June 20, 2023
A UCL sprain doesn’t necessarily mean Tommy John surgery, but that option is still very much on the table. For now, all there is to do is to see how McKenzie’s elbow responds to rest. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that the injury opens the door for Cleveland to call up top pitching prospect Gavin Williams from Triple-A to start on Wednesday.
Max Muncy (hamstring)/Julio Urias (hamstring), Los Angeles Dodgers — Muncy has progressed to running the bases, fielding grounders and taking live BP, and manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Tuesday that the infielder stands a good chance of being activated off the IL when he’s first eligible on Friday. If not then, it seems very likely to be at some point this weekend.
Urias sounds like he won’t be too far behind:
The lefty made it through a simulated game on Tuesday without issue, and he’s set to make his first rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga this weekend. He’ll likely need at least one more outing before returning to the Dodgers, but he should be back before the All-Star break.
Jazz Chisholm (toe), Miami Marlins — Well this is a sight for sore eyes:
Jazz Chisholm Jr. goes 0-for-2 with a walk in his first rehab game (played 7 innings)— Fish On First (@FishOnFirst) June 21, 2023
Lots of routine plays for him in CF, but this one was more challenging, catching up to a Magneuris Sierra fly ball on the warning track pic.twitter.com/lBvZ5d91XR
Chisholm began his rehab assignment at Triple-A on Tuesday, going 0-for-2 while appearing to move around well in center field. The 25-year-old is expected to undergo offseason foot surgery, but should be able to finish out the remainder of the regular season without any limitations. He’ll likely need at least a handful more games in the Minors before he’s ready to return to Miami.
Cedric Mullins (groin)/Ryan Mouncastle (vertigo), Baltimore Orioles — Both Mullins and Mountcastle were expected to kick off their rehab stints at Triple-A on Tuesday, but alas, Norfolk’s game against Nashville was rained out. Still, it’s a positive sign that they’re both ready to return to game action, even if Mullins might need a bit more time after missing nearly a month with a groin strain.
Dansby Swanson (wrist), Chicago Cubs — Swanson played all nine innings of Chicago’s win over the Pirates on Tuesday, but the shortstop is set to undergo X-rays after being hit by a pitch on the wrist. This is likely just a precaution, but we won’t know for sure until results come back at some point Wednesday.
Max Fried (forearm), Atlanta Braves — More good news for Fried, as his rehab has progressed to throwing full bullpen sessions.
Max Fried and Dylan Lee are now throwing normal bullpen sessions. Lee should be ready sooner, because the Braves will only have to build him back up to throw a couple innings at a time. Fried's ETA remains after the All-Star break. How long after could come into focus soon.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 20, 2023
The Braves figure to move their star lefty along very slowly, but he could be facing live hitters by the All-Star break with eyes on a return before the end of July. Atlanta could certainly use it, as Fried looked the part of an NL Cy Young candidate early on with a 2.08 ERA.
Tanner Houck (face), Boston Red Sox — It turns out that Houck will in fact need surgery after being struck in the face by a line drive over the weekend. The righty is set to have a plate inserted into his face to help fix a facial fracture, a procedure that likely means an extended absence for the Boston righty. Houck was finally looking like he’d figured something out, too, with consecutive very strong outings against the New York Yankees.
Andrew McCutchen (elbow)/Bryan Reynolds (back), Pittsburgh Pirates — Some bad news for a Pirates offense that really can’t afford any of that right now. Both McCutchen and Reynolds were out of the lineup on Tuesday as they deal with elbow and back injuries, respectively, so perhaps it’s no surprise Pittsburgh was shut out for the second straight night. McCutchen has been dealing with elbow soreness off and on for much of this year, so he can be considered day-to-day for now, but Reynolds is a bit more concerning: Reports started swirling on Tuesday afternoon that the outfielder was headed to the IL, and while Derek Shelton shot that down, lower back injuries are notoriously tricky to manage.
Anthony Rendon (wrist)/Zach Neto (oblique), Los Angeles Angels — This is ... a tentatively? optimistic update on Rendon, at least I think:
Anthony Rendon’s hand got progressively more sore over the last couple days.— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 20, 2023
They’re talking about getting some more imaging done, but are still hopeful he can be activated on Monday.
The fact that it’s gotten more sore as he’s been out for the last couple of days wouldn’t seem to be a great sign — as is the fact that they feel compelled to get more imaging done — but what do I know. We’ve seen Pete Alonso and Manny Machado forced to miss time despite negative X-rays in recent weeks; hopefully Rendon won’t be next and he can return when first eligible early next week.
Neto, meanwhile, has still yet to begin baseball activities, but Phil Nevin said that his rookie shortstop feels much better than he did when he first suffered his oblique strain over the weekend. He should begin ramping up before the end of the month with eyes on returning around the All-Star break.