THE BIG HURT: Hurt File, May 16-21

NOTE: The focus of this column is 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.

Last week's column (May 9-14)


May 21, 2018

Khris Davis (OF, OAK) – Groin strain (5/20/18)
No word about severity, and he hasn’t hit the DL as of this writing, but you can probably count on him missing a couple of weeks at least.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Variable return date
Est. Return: Early/mid-June (earliest)

Rich Hill (LHP, LA) – L hand, blisters, again (5/19/18)
This is the second finger issue this season, after multiple DL trips last season. This is becoming a chronic issue for him. Blisters are related to the grip on the baseball, so it’s a fixable problem. However, the fix could affect his production. His risk is obviously very high at this point.
2018 Impact: Very high risk; Significant chance of recurrence
Est. Return: Late June

Adeiny Hechavarria (SS, TAM) – R hamstring strain (5/17/18)
This appears to be a mild strain. As usual, there’s a risk of recurrence if he returns too soon.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Risk of recurrence
Est. Return: Mid-June

Joe Mauer (1B, MIN) –  Cervical strain (5/18/18)
He avoided a concussion, but the neck issue landed him on the DL. The symptoms of a neck strain usually clear up in about a week, though it can take a few weeks for complete healing. We’ll assume the Twins want him close to 100%.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal
Est. Return: Mid-June

Nick Delmonico (OF, CHW) – R hand, fracture (5/18/18)
He’ll miss some time, of course, but it was his bottom hand that was hit, making it more likely that he’ll be at full production (such as it is) when he returns.
2018 Impact: Possible reduced production when he first returns
Est. Return: Late June/Early July


May 19, 2018

Paul DeJong (SS, STL) – L hand fracture (5/17/18)
He’s scheduled for surgery, which likely means there was some displacement of the bones. The Cardinals expect this will shorten his recovery time, though with little information about which bone is broken, it’s difficult to judge. Even with the surgery, it’s unlikely he’s back by the All-Star break.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Potential for reduced effectiveness
Est. Return: Mid-July

Andrew Triggs (RHP, OAK) – R forearm soreness (5/17/18)
He’s not on the DL, and will be going for imaging to see what’s wrong. Forearm strains aren’t serious themselves, but any soreness near the elbow is concerning. He’ll likely hit the DL for a couple of weeks even if the MRI doesn’t show anything.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; a lot can go wrong with forearms and elbows
Est. Return: Early June (best estimate)

Madison Bumgarner (LHP, SF) – L hand, fracture (3/23/18)
For those who haven’t been keeping track, his hand is essentially healed at this point. What he’s doing now is going through a mini-spring training, getting loose, stretching out, etc. He’s on track for an early June return.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk
Est. Return: Early June

Starling Marte (OF, PIT) – Oblique strain (5/15/18)
Oblique strains are very common, and about three-quarters of them resolve in less than a month. We don’t think Marte will be out the long, as this appears to be a mild strain.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; obliques can linger
Est. Return: Early June

D.J. Lemahieu (2B, COL) – L thumb sprain/fracture (5/13/18) UPDATE
After further review, his sprained thumb is also fractured. It’s described as a “small fracture” which likely means it’s non-displaced, which is good news. It’s also not his top hand, so the recovery maybe a tad quicker with only minimal issues hitting when he returns.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; variable return date
Est. Return: Mid-/late June

Mike Soroka (RHP, ATL) – R shoulder strain (5/16/18)
Without any details, it’s hard to make a determination, as recovery times from shoulder strains are all over the place. Everything we’ve seen, however, indicates that it’s a minor strain. That hopefully puts him on the short end of the recovery spectrum. We’ll go with that unless we hear otherwise.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; variable return date
Est. Return: Early June

Matt Wieters (C, WAS) – L hamstring surgery (5/16/18)
Apparently, they found something on the MRI. His return and recovery depends on just what needed to be fixed. The Nats are being very quiet about the injury, and our suspicious side makes us wonder if they’re biding time while they shop for a replacement catcher. Figure six weeks minimum, with a non-zero risk of missing the remainder of the season.
2018 Impact: High risk; Variable return date
Est. Return: Post-All Star Break


May 21, 2018

A.J. Pollock (OF, ARI) – L thumb, sprain (5/14/18)
Oof. This was supposed to be a simple sprain! An avulsion fracture is one that occurs close to where the tendon or ligament attaches. It's as if the stress on the tissue cracked the bone, though that's not exactly how it happens. This will keep him out a while. The good news, such as it is, is that it's his bottom (non-power) hand.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Variable recovery time.
Est. Return: Late June, maybe past  the All-Star break

Adrian Beltre (3B, TEX) – L hamstring strain (5/13/18)
We covered him in a previous column, where we indicated a risk of reinjury if he returned too soon and a mid-May return. He returned about a week sooner than we had projected and reinjured the hamstring five days later. Now, we don't hold this out as a case of top-notch prognostication, especially since it's our standard warning for any hamstring strain. It's more a datapoint that illustrates the point: the reinjury rate is as high as 30% and is at its highest the first couple of weeks a player returns. It's not a good idea to rush any player back from a hamstring strain, but especially not a 39-year old. The last injury kept him out for two weeks; expect him to go a week or two longer this time.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; risk of recurrence if he returns too soon (see?)
Est. Return: Early/mid-June

D.J. Lemahieu (2B, COL) – L thumb sprain (5/13/18)
Sprains are tears, so the difference between LeMahieu's injury and, say Mike Trout's 2017 injury, comes down to degree. He's going to see a specialist (they should really do that for all non-trivial injuries) who will diagnosed the extent of the tear. Figure a couple of weeks at a minimum and up to six weeks if it's a significant tear. We'll land on the minor side of that for now. It's his bottom batting hand, so less impact on power than if it was his right thumb.
2018 Impact: Likely minor
Est. Return: Late May/early June (best estimate)

Alex Reyes (RHP, STL) – Recovery, Tommy John surgery (2017) UPDATE
His dominating performances during his rehab aren't evidence that he's back to having electric stuff. No, we're just kidding; yes it it. Reyes is good. Really good. Though while he's been blowing hitters away, part of the recovery is about durability and the rest of his body holding up, so don't cross him off the high risk list just yet.
2018 Impact: Risky, of course, but the upside is worth it
Est. Return: Early June

Keynan Middleton (RHP, LAA) – R elbow, UCL damage (5/12/18)
Sore elbow leads to DL stint leads to return to action leads to more soreness and MRI and then ... UCL tear. It's not an everyday occurrence, but it happens often enough that any elbow pain is risk-enhancing even if the player comes back quickly. A tear doesn't automatically mean Tommy John, but there's exactly one pitcher in the last six years with a UCL tear who made it back in the same season, so the odds are not in his favor. There's a high probability that he misses the bulk of the season, surgery or not.
2018 Impact: Slim chance of meaningful PT the rest of the way
Est. Return: 2019 (best estimate, but yet to be determined)

Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE) – Bruised chest (5/10/18)
He's not on the DL yet (as of this writing), but he hasn't progressed much, either. We hate to speculate, but a basic contusion should be improving at this point. It's not out of the question that they discover a cracked rib, bone bruise, or cartilage tear eventually, but those are all long shots. Most likely he's either back soon or he makes a short trip to the DL. We're going to project the latter.
2018 Impact: Likely minimal; Small chance of more serious injury
Est. Return: Late May

Lucas Duda (1B, KC) – R foot, plantar fasciitis (5/13/18)
Fasciitis can be very painful, and it's not an easy recovery; just staying off your foot isn't enough. It usually resolves in a couple of weeks, but it has the potential to take much longer, especially if there's a structural issue (like a bone spur) causing the problem.
2018 Impact: Elevated risk; Risk of recurrence; Potential for longer DL stay than projected
Est. Return: Early June

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