Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Muscle Strains Causing Problems

We almost have a full week of games in the book, and players are already flocking to the injured list. Muscle-related injuries, specifically strains, seem to be the biggest problem thus far. I previously stated this might be the case after the lockout resulted in a truncated spring and an unusual offseason. Hopefully thing will level out quickly but for now due your best to weather the storm.

Blake Snell

The Padres pitching depth is being tested early, as Snell was scratched from his weekend start due to adductor tightness. The adductors are commonly known as the groin and include multiple muscles that pull the legs inward toward the midline of the body in a motion known as adduction. For pitchers, the adductors are essential in transferring force during delivery. Even the mildest issue can negatively impact a pitcher’s mechanics. A conservative approach here is a wise one, especially since a similar injury ended his 2021 season. The team is confident he will be back quickly, though a stint on the 10-day IL is likely coming.

The Chicago White Sox

The White Sox were hit particularly hard with muscle issue, in the first few days of the season. It actually started a few days prior to Opening Day when Yoan Moncada suffered an oblique strain during a Cactus League game. Then Lucas Giolito left his Opening Day start prematurely with an abdominal strain. AJ Pollock followed suit, suffering a hamstring injury over the weekend.

Let’s start with Moncada. The official

We almost have a full week of games in the book, and players are already flocking to the injured list. Muscle-related injuries, specifically strains, seem to be the biggest problem thus far. I previously stated this might be the case after the lockout resulted in a truncated spring and an unusual offseason. Hopefully thing will level out quickly but for now due your best to weather the storm.

Blake Snell

The Padres pitching depth is being tested early, as Snell was scratched from his weekend start due to adductor tightness. The adductors are commonly known as the groin and include multiple muscles that pull the legs inward toward the midline of the body in a motion known as adduction. For pitchers, the adductors are essential in transferring force during delivery. Even the mildest issue can negatively impact a pitcher’s mechanics. A conservative approach here is a wise one, especially since a similar injury ended his 2021 season. The team is confident he will be back quickly, though a stint on the 10-day IL is likely coming.

The Chicago White Sox

The White Sox were hit particularly hard with muscle issue, in the first few days of the season. It actually started a few days prior to Opening Day when Yoan Moncada suffered an oblique strain during a Cactus League game. Then Lucas Giolito left his Opening Day start prematurely with an abdominal strain. AJ Pollock followed suit, suffering a hamstring injury over the weekend.

Let’s start with Moncada. The official diagnosis is a Grade I oblique strain. The Grade I designation means the damage is mild and isolated to the microfibers of the muscle with the true muscle tissue remaining intact. Unfortunately, even a mild oblique strain is limiting, and Moncada is expected to miss at least three weeks. Jake Burger has taken over at third base for the Sox, but the early returns aren’t promising. Burger was 1-for-7 in his first two games before getting a day off on Sunday.

Giolito’s abdominal strain appears to be the most concerning of the bunch. While the team is downplaying the injury and hope he will miss just two starts, abdominal injuries in pitchers can be difficult to manage. The demands of pitching are inherently hard on an individual’s core and lower extremities. Like discussed with Snell, a conservative approach may be the best tactic to ensure the injury remains mild and does not require surgical intervention. Look for him to miss at least two weeks.

A trip to the paternity list may have an unforeseen benefit for Pollock who can use the allotted time off to rest his balky hamstring. Pollock was removed from Saturday’s game after aggravating his hamstring while running to first base. He did not play Sunday before leaving the team to be with his wife as they get set for the arrival of their second child. The injury is reportedly mild and the “forced” time off should allow him enough time to adequately recover and avoid a subsequent IL trip. However, keep a close eye on his status as he nears a return to the team.

Jon Gray

Gray’s debut with the Rangers did not go as planned as the right-hander lasted just 70 pitches. While his three runs in four innings weren’t overly impressive, it appears a blister on his middle finger was the primary culprit for his early exit. Blisters are a common ailment for pitchers and generally develop as the skin of one finger is continuously rubbed against the seams of the baseball or a nearby finger. While a blister is not an obviously devastating injury, they can be extremely painful and irritating. If the skin of the area breaks, there is also the concern for infection. To further complicate the issue, major league pitchers are not allowed to pitch with tape or Band-Aids on their hands or fingers. As a result, players are forced to wait until the area is healed before they can effectively return to the mound. Plenty of home remedies have surfaced over the years, but the best treatment for a blister is time. Determining the root of the blister can also help prevent a recurrence. For now, Gray is on the 10-day IL, and it would not be surprising to see him miss the minimum amount of time.

Check Swings

Ian Happ: Happ did not play Sunday after being struck by a pitch on the knee. Imaging did not reveal any significant injuries, and the Cubs left fielder was available off the bench. He’s likely dealing with a mild soft tissue contusion. The wild pitch appears to have been the only thing capable of slowing down Happ as he is hitting .714 to start the year, including four RBI. A scheduled day off on Monday should allow him to enough rest to return to the lineup.

Mike Trout: A lingering stomach ailment has limited Trout since the problem first surfaced more than a week ago. He managed to start in every game for the Angels until Monday when he shifted to the bench. The Angels medical team advocated for the move to ensure any possible dehydration issues did not lead to some sort of soft tissue injury. Jo Adell, Trout’s replacement in the lineup, rewarded his confident confidence by launching a second-inning home run for his first hit of the season.

Trevor Story: The Red Sox shortstop did not play Monday as he was also under the weather. The illness is not COVID-19 related but his absence, coupled with Trout’s stomach ailment, is a harsh reminder that non-COVID pathogens, including other viruses and bacteria, remain out there. Fortunately, Story did travel with his teammates and hopes to play Tuesday in the second game of their series in Detroit.

Ryan Yarbrough: Like Snell, a groin injury delayed Yarbrough’s 2022 debut. The Rays do not consider the injury a major concern, and the right-hander should be back when first eligible to return. Tommy Romero will assume Yarbrough’s spot in the rotation and start Tuesday’s game against the Athletics.

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