As the season progresses, MLB teams have been ravaged with injuries. No team has probably suffered more than the New York Yankees this year, but teams around the league have had to deal with having to put players on the injured list. Here are a few updates on some injuries from around the league this week:
On The Shelf
The Houston Astros have announced that they have put All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. While it is not believed to be significant, the Astros, who enjoy a 6.5-game lead in the AL West, had the luxury of playing it safe.
It also doesn’t hurt that they have a more than suitable replacement in Aledmys Diaz, who has already hit a couple home runs since Altuve’s departure. Still, it will be important to get Altuve back and healthy for the stretch run. The Astros probably hope that a break may help Altuve reset at the plate, too. He has been surprisingly pedestrian this season, hitting .243/.329/.472 with nine home runs, 21 runs batted in and 21 runs scored.
After leaving Sunday’s game with soreness in his left wrist, the Minnesota Twins received good news on Monday when an MRI came back negative. While his wrist is still sore, Cruz is hoping that the news on Monday will help him avoid a stint on the injured list.
On the season, Cruz is hitting .270/.354/.508 with seven home runs, 22 runs batted in and 19 runs scored.
The Tampa Bay Rays have placed pitcher Tyler Glasnow on the injured list with a mild forearm strain. At this point, the expectation is that he will miss approximately four to six weeks. This season, Glasnow has been exceptional. He is 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .202 against him.
In 48.1 innings, he has allowed 35 hits, 10 earned runs, three home runs and has struck out 55 while walking nine. While there was initially some concern that the diagnosis could have been significantly worse, the Rays will still be missing one of their best starters to date for a considerable amount of time.
Other Stars Returning
While some teams have lost players to injury, other players have been returning, or are on their way to returning. Here are a few from around the league:
The New York Yankees, who have been absolutely decimated by injuries throughout the season, got one player back on Monday when they activated Aaron Hicks from the injured list. Dealing with back issues, Hicks has yet to play this season for the Yankees. Last year, Hicks hit .248/.366/.467 with 27 home runs, 79 runs batted in and 90 runs scored.
Needless to say, he will be a welcome addition back. Unfortunately, when one returns, another one leaves as the Yankees placed Miguel Andujar back on the injured list.
While he has not been added yet, one player is who is closing in on a return is St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez. Having dealt with a right shoulder cuff strain, Martinez has yet to pitch for the Cardinals this season. Still, it would be a huge addition for the Cardinals’ pitching staff. If Martinez were to be called up in the immediate future, it would likely be in the bullpen, where he could serve as a dominant setup man for Jordan Hicks.
Last season, in 118.2 innings, Martinez had a 3.11 ERA, was 8-6, but also had five saves. The bullpen may ultimately be the best option for Martinez at this stage. Not only would it create a clearer path to the big leagues, but it would also allow the Cardinals to manage his workload.
Also set to return shortly for his team is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Chris Archer. Archer has been on the injured list with right thumb inflammation since April 27 but is expected to be activated on Wednesday for a start against the Diamondbacks.
On the season, Archer is 1-2 in 5 starts with a 4.33 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and opponents are hitting .232 off of him. In 27 innings, he has allowed 23 hits, 13 earned runs, five home runs and has struck out 29 versus 12 walks.
Athletics Designate Morales For Assignment
On Monday, the Oakland Athletics announced that they are designating first baseman and designated hitter Kenrys Morales for assignment. Morales, who was signed after the injury to Matt Olson earlier in the season, just struggled to get it going this season with the Athletics. While he was a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse, his on-field production left something to be desired.
On the season, Morales was hitting .204/.310/.259 with one home run, seven runs batted in and nine runs scored in 108 at-bats. He had 20 strikeouts versus 14 walks. Sadly, Morales may be running out of options as he is limited in his defensive abilities and if he isn’t hitting, he may not have a ton of value. As injuries mount up for some teams, someone may take a flyer on him, but if not, he has had a solid career. In his place, the Athletics activated Mark Canha from the injured list.
Rays Acquire d’Arnaud
Unfortunately for Travis d’Arnaud, the frequent flyer miles keep racking up. After surprisingly being released by the New York Mets, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers to serve as a third catcher/utility player.
Unfortunately for d’Arnaud, that stay was short-lived as he has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. On the positive note, he is being traded from one first-place team to another. Additionally, he is more needed with the Rays, who have recently lost Mike Zunino and Michael Perez to injuries. In return, the Dodgers are receiving cash considerations.
Still, for a Rays team who was in need of catching depth, this is a move that makes a lot of sense, especially with New York still on the hook for the majority of his contract.
Keuchel, Kimbrel Could Soon Gain Suitors
With only a few weeks remaining until the June 3 MLB Draft, two of the most excited people for the draft to get here might be Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. Both former All-Stars have gone through the entire offseason and the first quarter of the season unsigned and unemployed. While neither one of them is without their faults, one negative for potential suitors has been the draft compensation that has been tied to them.
Basically, any team that signs either of these players would have to give up a high draft pick as they were given a qualifying offer, which they both rejected, by their former teams. What does that mean with the draft coming up? Once the draft begins, the draft compensation is eliminated, and teams can bid for services without having to worry about draft capital being sacrificed.
While there are other issues to overcome, including high asking prices for the aging veterans, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see a team in need of a starter or closer to pull the trigger sooner than later after the draft has concluded.