For a day that started with Aaron Judge being officially placed on the injured list, it wound up being a relatively quiet day on the health front around MLB. The New York Mets endured a major scare when Pete Alonso took a fastball off his hand and was forced to leave the game, but thankfully the Polar Bear appears to be okay, and most of the rest of our daily injury report is positive — a welcome departure from the norm this season.
MLB injury report: Thursday, June 8
Pete Alonso (wrist), New York Mets — All of Queens held its breath after Alonso took a 97-mph Charlie Morton fastball off his hand in the first inning of New York’s game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, but luckily the slugger seems to have avoided the worst-case scenario: X-rays have already come back negative, and he’s been diagnosed with a left wrist contusion. He’ll be out for a day or two, but hopefully not much longer.
Chisholm went to see a specialist for a follow-up on his injured toe, and things have apparently healed enough that he’s been cleared to restart baseball activities. Miami will likely want to take it slow with their oft-injured star, but he’ll hopefully be back before the All-Star break.
Justin Steele (forearm), Chicago Cubs — Steele’s MRI showed only minor inflammation in his left forearm, and it seems like the lefty could be back in the rotation awfully soon. Per David Ross, Steele threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and assuming no setbacks, he’s currently slated to return next Saturday, June 17, against the Baltimore Orioles. A slumping Cubs team could desperately use his 2.65 ERA right about now.
Carlos Rodon (back), New York Yankees — We don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like Rodon could finally be closing in on his Yankees debut. Not even the ominous orange sky above New York City could stop the lefty from checking off a big box in his rehab on Wednesday afternoon, as he faced live hitters in a BP session for the first time since being shut down last month.
Start spreading the news— Joon Lee (@joonlee) June 7, 2023
Carlos Rodon is pitching off a mound with an orange sky backdrop pic.twitter.com/oOf0E3YDf1
Aaron Boone told reporters afterward that Rodon will throw at least two more live BPs before heading out on a rehab assignment, but assuming all goes well we could see him in a Minor League game in a week or two. That assignment is likely to be a fairly lengthy one given how long Rodon’s been out, but Yankees fans will take the good news.
Pete Fairbanks (hip)/Brandon Lowe (back), Tampa Bay Rays — An MRI revealed no structural damage in Fairbanks’ hip after he complained of tightness while warming up in the bullpen last month, and now it seems like Tampa’s erstwhile closer may only miss the minimum number of days on the IL. The righty is set to throw to hitters at the team’s Florida complex on Friday; if that goes well, he should return when first eligible on Monday, but if his stuff isn’t quite there he might need a brief rehab assignment. Given how shaky replacement Jason Adam has become recently, Fairbanks should get reinserted into the ninth inning in short order.
As for Lowe, it’s looking like this could be a lengthy absence. The Rays are hopeful that the infielder’s herniated disc is unrelated to the back injury that cost him large chunks of last season, but they’re still exercising plenty of caution — Lowe will be shut down for at least 2-3 weeks before being reevaluated.
Danny Jansen (groin), Toronto Blue Jays — Good news for Toronto, as Jansen is all set to head out on a rehab assignment after straining his groin late last month.
“He’s checked all the boxes. If he’s good tomorrow, will catch Friday in Buffalo (maybe a couple games) before returning.” John Schneider, after Danny Jansen (groin) ran bases for first time today. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/xMmLKmN0FV— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) June 7, 2023
Jansen had been scorching the ball when he went on the IL, and with Alejandro Kirk continuing to struggle at the plate, he should see the majority of the starts behind the plate whenever he’s healthy enough to return.
TJ Friedl (hamstring), Cincinnati Reds — Friedl is also getting set to come off the IL, and he likely won’t need a rehab assignment before he does so. Manager David Bell told reporters on Wednesday that Friedl is trending towards returning to the Cincy lineup on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. That would be just an 11-day absence, so hopefully the outfielder isn’t rushing back prematurely from a hamstring issue that’s bothered him off and on for weeks now — he’s been among the Reds’ best hitters this year when healthy, slashing .326/.377/.496.
Mason Miller (elbow), Oakland Athletics — Miller is still a long way away from a return to action — if he makes it back to the mound at all this season — but the righty took the first step on Wednesday, beginning a throwing program by playing catch. It’s the first time he’s picked up a baseball since being diagnosed with a mild UCL sprain last month, and if all goes well, the impressive rookie has a chance to come back some time in August or September.