Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: A Laundry List of Injuries

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: A Laundry List of Injuries

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

Byron Buxton

Buxton remains a top-tier talent limited by his seeming suspect availability. He has a laundry list of injuries including a thumb sprain, multiple head injuries, fractures to his foot and hand, a wrist contusion, a chronically problematic left shoulder, and multiple strains to his lower extremities. Before you slap Buxton with the dreaded "injury prone" label, it's important to differentiate the types of injuries he has accrued. The broken bones should be attributed to bad luck. There's likely nothing he could have done to prevent getting struck by a pitch or fouling a ball off his foot. The same goes for a concussion sustained after colliding with a teammate or the shoulder injury that occurred after he crashed into the outfield wall. Perhaps a change in his style of play may have reduced the chances of something like this happening, but you run the risk of diminishing Buxton's value in the process. Still, it's hard to blame Buxton or a lack of preparation for these types of ailments.

However, the lower extremity strains are an issue and have now resurfaced. Strains along the kinetic chain can be limiting and can easily become recurring issues, elevating the inherent risk of the individual and predisposing them for subsequent problems. Buxton is currently managing a "low level right hip strain." The term "low level" likely means a Grade 1 or mild strain. The classification is encouraging, but he does have a history of injuries in the area, having previously missed time

Byron Buxton

Buxton remains a top-tier talent limited by his seeming suspect availability. He has a laundry list of injuries including a thumb sprain, multiple head injuries, fractures to his foot and hand, a wrist contusion, a chronically problematic left shoulder, and multiple strains to his lower extremities. Before you slap Buxton with the dreaded "injury prone" label, it's important to differentiate the types of injuries he has accrued. The broken bones should be attributed to bad luck. There's likely nothing he could have done to prevent getting struck by a pitch or fouling a ball off his foot. The same goes for a concussion sustained after colliding with a teammate or the shoulder injury that occurred after he crashed into the outfield wall. Perhaps a change in his style of play may have reduced the chances of something like this happening, but you run the risk of diminishing Buxton's value in the process. Still, it's hard to blame Buxton or a lack of preparation for these types of ailments.

However, the lower extremity strains are an issue and have now resurfaced. Strains along the kinetic chain can be limiting and can easily become recurring issues, elevating the inherent risk of the individual and predisposing them for subsequent problems. Buxton is currently managing a "low level right hip strain." The term "low level" likely means a Grade 1 or mild strain. The classification is encouraging, but he does have a history of injuries in the area, having previously missed time with hip and groin strains. The Twins consider him day-to-day and are optimistic he will not end up on the injured list. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see Buxton receive a few more days off to insure his long-term health. Those invested in Buxton will simply have to wait this one out.

Jon Gray

It has been two steps forward and three steps back all season for the Rangers pitcher. Gray was named the Opening Day starter for Texas after signing a $56 million deal in the offseason. However, he developed a blister on his middle finger in his debut and was sent to the 10-day IL. He then suffered a low-grade sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during his return to the mound. That injury resulted in 14 more days lost. He was then limited to a three-inning outing followed by another abbreviated outing on Monday. The team is calling the latest setback soreness in his previously injured knee and suggested his removal from the game was precautionary. However, look for the Rangers to take another look at the troublesome joint. Meniscus injuries can often occur in conjunction with a MCL sprain, as fibers of the ligament are intertwined with the cartilage disc. There has been no indication of whether Gray will need a third trip the IL, but the early returns are frustrating for all those involved. 

Check Swings

Kris Bryant: The Rockies third baseman will receive a cortisone injection in his ailing back to help attack the lingering inflammation. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication, not a pain-reliever. However, once the cortisone has been introduced, Bryant should see a reduction in his symptoms as the inflammation subsides. He will then need to directly address the cause of the inflammation to ensure it does not come back over time. Look for him to take a few days off from all baseball-related activities before progressing to the rehab stages of recovery. He remains without a firm timetable.

Carlos Correa: Minnesota has been without Correa's services for three straight outings after he was struck by a pitch on his right hand. It was initially believed he suffered a fractured middle finger on the play, but X-rays failed to show a break in the bone. The injury is being called a bruised middle finger, though Correa is still dealing with considerable soreness in the digit. The fingers are an intricate system of pulleys that enable grip and control. Any damage or associated swelling to the area can drastically effect function. Correa isn't expected to play on Tuesday, and a trip to the IL remains a possibility. 

Jack Flaherty: Flaherty continues to work his way through the arduous rehab protocol for his injured shoulder. The Cardinals right-hander has not pitched this season after developing bursitis in his throwing shoulder. He received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in late March and began a throwing program several weeks later. Flaherty recently tossed his first bullpen session and is slated to throw another in the next few days. The shoulder has held up well so far, and he should advance to facing live hitters should the second bullpen session go as planned. Unfortunately, Flaherty will carry a moderate degree of risk moving forward. Even if the bursitis is adequately controlled, he still will need to manage the small tear in his labrum. Flaherty is a perfect example of a high-risk, high-reward investment. Look for him to target a June return to action. 

Manuel Margot: Just hours after being named the American League Player of the Week, Margot limped off the diamond during a slide attempt. The team is calling the issue "right hamstring discomfort." Look for Margot to undergo more testing in the near future to determine the extent of the injury. Consider him day-to-day for now.

Marcus Stroman: The Cubs made a surprise move over the weekend, placing Stroman on the IL without an injury designation. A move like this generally means a player has been placed into the league's COVID-19 protocols. Look for Stroman to return after he completes the necessary requirement and clears protocols.

Blake Snell: The left-hander is currently on a rehab assignment as he works his way back from a groin strain. He is slated to make another rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A El Paso. If all goes smoothly, Snell could be back in the San Diego rotation by the weekend. However, the Padres are currently utilizing a six-man rotation and may push back his return until early next week. He will return with an elevated level of risk but is worth consideration in all formats.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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