THE BIG HURT: Hurt file, March 29-April 3

NOTE: This column focuses on injury analysis, so we don't cover the progress of every injured player. We try to highlight the key fantasy contributors, unusual injuries, or situations where the official projected return is variable or not given. Players whose progress is proceeding as expected are very well covered by fantasy news sources; we'll tend to leave those players alone unless we have something we want to add to the news coverage. This column is updated on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

Credit for the Worry-O-Meter goes to Dr. Jim Ferretti (Twitter: @TFSDoc):

     1 – “No problemo”
     2 – “I’ll be back”
     3 – “I (might) be back”
     4 – “I (probably won’t) be back”
     5 – “Hasta la vista, baby”

Spring updates are here and here.


We’re back, baby! This is the first official installment of the in-season hurt file. There’s quite the list, so we’ll get right to it…


April 3, 2023

Jonathan “JT” Brubaker (RHP, PIT) – R elbow/forearm soreness (3/25/23) UPDATE
He’s been placed on the 60-day IL, which does not bode well. This feels like a Tommy John situation, though we won’t know until we know.
2023 Impact: High risk; Possibility for season-ending injury
Est. Return: July/August if he catches a break
Worry-O-Meter: 4

Joey Bart (C, SF) – Mid-back strain (4/1/23)
A relatively mild injury, he could be back in 3-4 weeks, maybe six at the most if all goes well.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Early/mid-May
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Lars Nootbaar (OF, STL) – L thumb injury (3/30/23)
He jammed his thumb sliding into a base. Imaging (presumable an x-ray) didn’t show anything, and he’s able to swing a bat. He does have some pain, so he may miss another few days. There’s a small chance that there’s some ligament damage, but that’s low probability. His power may be down for a week or two if he’s still experiencing pain or weakness.
2023 Impact: Potential for reduced power in the short term
Est. Return: 1-3 days
Worry-O-Meter: 1.5

Ryan Pressly (RHP, HOU) – Illness (4/1/23)
It’s worrisome when your closer isn’t taking the mound in a save situation in the second game of the season, but it’s likely nothing. There are few common diseases that can affect someone for more than a few days. Treat it as nothing unless we hear otherwise.
2023 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: 1-4 days
Worry-O-Meter: 1

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April 1, 2023

Luis Urías (2B/3B/SS) – L hamstring (3/30/23)
This looks like a simple strain. Return to play is typically 1-3 weeks, with some risk of recurrence if he returns too quickly.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late April
Worry-O-Meter: 1

Justin Verlander (RHP, NYM) – R shoulder strain (3/30/23)
It’s a teres major strain. The muscle runs from the base of the scapula to the back of the humerus. A mild strain usually heals quickly; return to play is typically 2-4 weeks.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Late April
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Daniel Bard (RHP, COL) – Anxiety (3/30/23)
This isn’t an injury, and it’s nearly impossible to assess without knowing a ton about his condition. Here’s what we know: He’s dealt with anxiety before, and it ended up pushing him out of baseball for a few years. He’s apparently been able to manage it for the past couple of years. Also, other players, notably Zack Greinke, have been able to manage their anxiety over long periods. We’re all pulling for Bard, but there’s just no telling how quickly he’ll be able to return. It could be a few weeks, and it could be never.
Worry-O-Meter: 3.5-4

Max Fried (RHP, ATL) – L hamstring strain (3/30/23)
He’ll miss a start and probably hit the IL. It appears to be minor, so a similar return to play as Urías above (2-4 weeks).
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late April
Worry-O-Meter: 1

Ryan Pepiot (RHP, LA) – Oblique strain (3/30/23)
Obliques + pitchers = not so good. He could miss 6-12 weeks depending on the severity. And all the caveats about recurrence apply.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late May
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Liam Hendriks (RHP, CHW) – Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (January 2023) UPATE
He was placed on the 15-day IL and not the 60-day IL, reflecting optimism that his treatment is going well and that he’ll be back much earlier than expected. We’ll update our projection accordingly.
2023 Impact: Variable recovery time; elevated risk
Est. Return: As early as mid-May, perhaps
Worry-O-Meter: 2


March 29, 2023

Yoan Moncada (3B, CHW) – Back stiffness (3/26/23)
Yeah, it’s “stiffness.” That’s likely a strain. It seems mild enough that his status for Opening Day is in question, but there’s no reason to rush him into things. If you have him rostered, you’d almost prefer he sits it out rather than risk a more severe injury.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk in the short term
Est. return: 2-5 days, most likely
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Triston McKenzie (RHP, CLE) – R shoulder strain (3/26/23)
This is a tough one for him and the team. It’s a teres strain—a muscle that connects the back of the scapula to the front of the humerus. It’s engaged while throwing a pitch, and it often doesn’t heal quickly. This likely keeps him out 6-8 weeks, though it depends greatly on the extent of the tear.
2023 Impact: Variable recovery time; Risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late May
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Jared Walsh (1B, LAA) – Headaches and insomnia (3/25/23)
It’s bad enough that he’ll hit the IL. There is a connection between sleep deprivation and headaches, so it’s possible the former is the cause of the latter. However, there are many possible root causes here. It’s possible they can treat the headaches and get him back on the field with long-term management over time. There’s definite risk here, as well.
2023 Impact: Unknown extent/condition; Elevated risk
Est. Return: Mid-/late April is possible
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Kyle Wright (RHP, ATL) – Shoulder inflammation (January 2023)
He had a cortisone shot in January, which put him behind in getting ready for the season. Assuming no setbacks, he only needs a few weeks to get up to speed. Since the inflammation hasn’t recurred, he’s not super high risk at this point.
2023 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: Mid-April
Worry-O-Meter: 1

Brandon Hughes (LHP, CHC) – L knee inflammation (3/21/23)
It’s likely tendonitis, but there’s no confirmation of that. There are several other possibilities, some of which are more serious—albeit less likely—so there’s risk here. But the most likely outcome is a short IL stint.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; Unknown condition
Est. Return: Mid-/late April
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Jonathan “JT” Brubaker (RHP, PIT) – R forearm soreness (3/25/23)
Not what you want to hear if you’re a Brubaker rosterer. This could be a muscle strain, tendonitis, general, inflammation, or (worst case) a UCL injury. It’s not always easy to tell one from the other, even with imaging. We’ll forecast a typical stay, but the risk is high here until we hear something definitive.
2023 Impact: Unknown condition; High risk
Est. Return: Late April, maybe (best estimate)
Worry-O-Meter: 2.5

Mitch Haniger (OF, SF) – Oblique strain (March 2023)
He hasn’t played since the beginning of the month, but the usual recovery path for an oblique should have him back in a couple of weeks. Maybe add a week for him to get his timing back.
2023 Impact: Elevated risk; Risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late April
Worry-O-Meter: 1

Luis Severino (RHP, NYY) – R lat strain (3/25/23)
As with any soft-tissue injury, the severity matters here. It seems like a relatively mild strain, and a Grade 1 strain is a 2-4 week recovery. That’s where we’ll put him for now.
2023 Impact: Risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-/late April
Worry-O-Meter: 2

Ranger Suárez (LHP, PHI) – L forearm tightness (3/14/23)
He’ll certainly start the season on the IL, as he hasn’t resumed throwing yet. The most likely culprit is a muscle strain, though as we noted for Brubaker above, there is a list of usual suspects. He’s improving, but it sounds like he’s maybe a week or so away from throwing for real. He’ll need some time to get re-ramped, so don’t expect a quick return.
2023 Impact: Unknown condition; Elevated risk
Est. Return: Late April seems likely
Worry-O-Meter: 2.5


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.