All we’re trying to do is make it through the next few days alive. OK, maybe alive is a bit dramatic. How about unscathed? Little bumps and bruises and the normal wear and tear issues aren’t too much of a bother with the All Star Break coming up next week. If your player has a tweak or a minor pull, then some good, old-fashioned rest will be in order and there’s little to worry about with regard to missing games. It’s the big ones you want to avoid. You want to steer clear of the breaks and the tears. Fortunately, this week has been a little kinder to us on the injury front, but still plenty worth reporting.
The most notable of injuries this week comes in the form of yet another strained quad which seems to be the 2011 version of last year’s oblique epidemic. Seems that super-stud shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been victimized here. He’s taking BP and playing catch but not quite up to full speed in the running department. There’s a chance that he comes back for this weekend’s final series of the first half, but the Rockies will take it day by day.
Removed from Wednesday’s game for precautionary reasons, Blue Jays backstop, J.P. Arencibia could be sitting for a few days after getting hit on the wrist by Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Manager John Farrell didn’t seem too concerned citing good grip strength after the incident, but if he’s experiencing any lingering issues, Arencibia could miss a few games here before the break.
I thought the rioting in the streets was just a continuation of 4th of July celebrations, but apparently it was panic-stricken Adrian Gonzalez owners who saw their slugger out of the lineup Wednesday for the first time this season. Relax, people. Stiff neck. That’s all. Nothing to see here. Move along now.
Apparently Father Time has laid his whupping stick across the back of Placido Polanco. The Phillies third sacker asked out of Tuesday’s lineup due to back pain and missed Wednesday as well. He claims that he could play if he needed to, but also mentioned some numbness in his side. How concerned you should be will depend on whether or not he plays this weekend. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s just age and not something more serious.
There’s also a strong chance that Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino lands on the DL this week. The Flyin’ Hawaiian has a Grade 1 sprain of his right thumb and he’s been sent back to Philadelphia to see a hand specialist. They say they’ll evaluate him on a day to day basis, but you should probably prepare to be without him this weekend.
Giants outfielder Cody Ross joins the team’s laundry list of injuries as he is currently listed as day to day with a hamstring strain. He appeared as a pinch hitter on Wednesday night, but may lose out on some starts over the next few days while he heals.
Johnny Damon owners are ready to lynch Twins starter Francisco Liriano who hit Damon not once but twice on the hand. X-rays came back negative and they’re just calling it a contusion, but you’ll want to monitor his status and assume that he’ll miss a couple of days.
You’ll want to monitor Brennan Boesch’s playing time for the rest of the week as he deals with a bruised knee. Tigers manager Jim Leyland claimed that he was just playing it safe when he removed Boesch from Wednesday’s lineup, but you’ll wan t to keep tabs on him if you’ve been using him in your regular lineup.
Out of Commission
The big blow this week comes to Jon Lester owners who watched their ace leave his no-hit bid on Tuesday due to a back problem. Turns out, he’s got a strained lat muscle and the team quickly put him on the 15 day DL. That means no second start this week and no start for the end of next week either. He’ll be re-evaluated regularly so we’ll know more about a possible July 22nd return then. Obviously, given the state of the red Sox rotation, they will err on the side of caution here. We don’t need another Jake Peavy-like muscle tear.
Joining Lester on the DL is teammate Carl Crawford, although it looks like this move was just precautionary and a way to mandate some rest for the outfielder who is dealing with a tweaked hamstring. He’s taking BP, running the bases and will start up a rehab assignment right after the break. He’ll be good to go in the second half.
The Padres placed starting pitcher Clayton Richard on the DL with arm stiffness on Monday and he looks like he could be out for longer than the usual 15 days. The team seems to be pretty vague in their reports on his condition, so we’ll just have to take a wait-and-see approach here.
After being removed from his last start due to a strained flexor muscle, Scott Baker has been ruled out for his Sunday start. Everyone seems to be downplaying the injury here, so it looks like, with some rest over the break, he’ll be fine once the second half begins.
Is it even worth mentioning that Brandon Webb is officially out for the rest of the season and possibly calling it a career? I didn’t think so.
On the Mend
It looks like Shin-Soo Choo is taking a cue from Albert Pujols and is now saying that he could be back in the lineup by early to mid-August. Currently out with a broken thumb, Choo was expected to be out for atleast 8-10 weeks. However, after having the cast removed yesterday, he is putting himself on a different timetable. While it would be nice to get him back earlier than expected, we’ll have to see how he performs in his rehab starts. Hope for the best, but continue to prepare for the worst.
And while we’re at it, can we just give a nod to Pujols and his obvious super-human healing abilities. A fractured wrist and he’s already back??? And I thought Wolverine was just a comic book character.
For more guys on the mend, check out my last installment of the MLB Injury Report and keep checking back over the weekend as we finish off the week and see how busy the triage unit will be over the All Star Break and beyond.
Howard Bender is the founder of The Fantasy Baseball Buzz and SF Giants Report. You can also find his work at FanGraphs and RotoWire. For questions, thoughts and comments, you can email Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter - @rotobuzzguy and @SFGiantsReport.
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