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We are right in the thick of it here in the 2022 Major League Baseball season, and injuries are everywhere. High profile hitters and pitchers are finding their way to the Injured List, forcing fantasy owners to decide between keeping someone hurt or move on to other players. Here’s the important news you need to know in order to make an informed decision, and also one that will help you win your league.

 

The Good

Eddie Rosario

Rosario has been out of action for weeks, as the vision in his right eye needed laser surgery for improvement back in April. He was originally slated for a timetable of eight to twelve weeks in order to return, so seeing him ramp up his on-field activities is a bonus. The good news is that this is not an injury of the body or of ligaments and muscles, so he should be well-rested and physically fresh. When he does return, he may be fighting for at bats in an already loaded Braves’ outfield, but he’s proven his steady worth in the past.

 

Chris Sale

Pretty encouraging news here, as this coincides with the idea that there has been talk that Sale may make his return sooner if he were to be a relief pitcher. In doing so, he wouldn’t need to build up as much stamina at first, thus resulting in a 2022 debut soon. Another positive out of all of this is that the Red Sox bullpen is quite volatile, and giving it some stability with Sale could be just what Boston needs until they decide he’s ready to go back into the rotation. While a return date isn’t yet set in stone, it’s a positive step in the right direction nonetheless.

 

Lance Lynn

Great news here, in that he “should” pitch early next week, in what would be a favorable matchup in Detroit. While nothing is official just yet, the fact that both he and Tony La Russa feel he’s close is promising for any fantasy owner who stuck through this injury to start the season. Lynn has proven himself to be a stalwart for innings pitched and strikeouts, and should also provide wins as well. Be prepared to get him into your lineups next week, just anticipate the possibility of some rust.

 

Franmil Reyes

Reyes has struggled to get anything going offensively this season, as he has hit just three home runs in 145 plate appearances. He is striking out at a career high rate of 39.3% and walking at a career low rate of 6.9%, with an xBA of .216, which is not much higher than his BA of .195, making him someone to monitor when he does return. Still, when he does make contact, he’s hitting the ball hard with a healthy Launch Angle. The underlying numbers suggest that he should have been doing somewhat better than he had, so monitoring his return makes him worthy of an opportunity to buy low.

 

Taylor Ward

Great news here for the Angels and for fantasy owners that Ward is looking and feeling healthy enough for a quick return. Look for him to put a nice spark into their lineup and help them turn things around after a disastrous losing streak that took them out of the AL West division picture for the time being. Ward has had himself a breakout-worthy season.

 

Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer

If there’s any team that deserves some good news, it’s the New York Mets, who have lost so many players due to injury this season. Earlier this week, it was revealed that both of their rotation aces, who have been missing in action for quite some time, are on the mend and trending towards a return. First with deGrom, he has thrown multiple bullpens within the last week and will continue to do so over this weekend. Despite not having a pitch-count in his back pocket, he’s hopefully going to evolve into being able to pitch three times within a week, which is fantastic to hear. He still needs to face live hitters, but the progress is evident. As for Scherzer, he appears to be ahead of schedule, despite only throwing low-intensity bullpen sessions. While he still needs to ramp up his outings, he could be nearing a rehab session as well, giving the Mets hope to be back before the All-Star Break.

 

Aroldis Chapman

Chapman making progress is encouraging, as he is looking closer to a return to the Yankees in short order. That being said, there is no guarantee that when he does come back healthy that he will be the team’s closer, since Clay Holmes has taken hold of that position with a Masterclass in closing. There’s a legitimate chance that Chapman is either put into the setup role that was once occupied by Holmes, or he is traded to a team that will use him as the closer, since he is in a contract year. Either way, it’s one of the most interesting developments to monitor going forward.

 

Jack Flaherty

This is fantastic news for the Cardinals, who need rotation depth and stability more than most teams. Flaherty has struggled to stay healthy over the years, but the fact that his fastball is in the mid 90’s is quite promising. He was quoted as saying that that he didn’t feel quite as sharp as he’d like to feel, which is why he is slated to make another rehab start this upcoming Wednesday. Regardless, all of this seems quite promising.

 

 

The Bad

Garrett Whitlock

Garrett Whitlock has been a positive surprise for the Red Sox this year, usually coming through for the team during their season-long rotation woes. It was a gamble for them to see if he could cut it as a starter, and the writing was on the wall as of late that perhaps he was overwhelmed. His starts became increasingly volatile as the season wore on, and the strikeouts and whiff rates were diminishing. Now, he finds himself on the shelf with right hip inflammation, though Alex Cora was quoted as saying that if this were September, then Whitlock would be out there pitching. With no timetable for a return laid out, it’s possible that he is gone for awhile, and upon his return, he gets back to his long-relief role where he’s thrived in the past. Tanner Houck seems likely for an upgrade in innings pitched and possibly a spot in the rotation.

 

Eloy Jimenez

While this has since been categorized as general leg soreness, it’s still discouraging nonetheless, since the hope for him was to return as soon as possible to a scuffling White Sox lineup that needs his bat. Jimenez has had trouble staying on the field in the past, so any setback, big or small, shouldn’t be taken lightly.

 

Kris Bryant

Bryant making progress here should be catalogued as a good thing, but it’s hard to treat this as anything other than vague. It really sounds like something someone would say to appease someone else into thinking that things were fine when in fact they were not. Swinging a bat is a step in the right direction, but Bryant has missed significant time with this injury and will likely miss more in the future. The hope is that he can return to full strength soon and begin to give the Rockies the offensive firepower they are lacking, but this may end up being a lost season for Kris Bryant, as back injuries are tricky.

 

Fernando Tatis Jr.

The delay in the CT scan is somewhat concerning for a few reasons. First, there’s a chance that the Padres weren’t happy with the initial progress that he was making, and wanted to delay any and all assessments until they saw something themselves. Second, this delays his eventual return by at least a week, hindering any fantasy value he may have in redraft leagues. Third, this indicates that the Padres will not be rushing him back at all, and may hold him out for quite awhile to ensure that he is at 100% health, while also resting his often-injured shoulder. All in all, with San Diego succeeding the way that they are, a return after the All-Star Break seems likely.

 

Wander Franco

What was initially slated to be a two-week recovery period, Franco looks destined to be on the Injured List for a lot longer, and the Rays could be without their superstar player for a while. Taylor Walls seems to be the benefactor of this delay, but with the Rays being the Rays, anything is possible. As for Franco, Tampa will want him back for a playoff run, so limiting his time now could help them later on when he is needed most.

 

 

The Ugly

Tyler Stephenson

The 2022 season just went from bad to worse for the Reds, as they have lost their superstar catcher for the next little while. It’s unfortunate because he was having a breakout season of his own, batting .305 with five home runs over 42 games played and becoming one of the league’s best catchers. Aramis Garcia and Chris Okey will take over for now, but are obviously nowhere near the caliber that Stephenson is behind the plate. For fantasy owners everywhere, the catcher position has luckily elevated itself significantly this season, so in one-catcher leagues, a replacement shouldn’t be too hard to find.

 

Casey Mize

These are interesting facts presented by Hinch, since the ligament isn’t necessarily torn, but just stretched out. Regardless of this, the former number one draft pick will miss at least one year with this injury and will probably not be ready to pitch with effectiveness until the beginning of the 2024 season. His overall numbers have been underwhelming to say the least, and it will take a lot for him to come back and prove himself.

 

Royce Lewis

This news is devastating, as the former top prospect will once again miss significant time after re-injuring his knee this past week. To say this is unfortunate would be an understatement, but re-injuring one’s ACL while recovering from said injury isn’t necessarily uncommon. It remains to be seen how he responds to a return and what the Twins have planned for him in the long run. While Lewis’ bat seemed primed and ready for the big leagues, it’s obvious that his body is not, and that he will have to wait once again.

 

Walker Buehler

Terrible news coming out of Los Angeles, though this isn’t as ominous as some may have previously believed. Buehler’s absence isn’t necessarily season-ending, since the hope is that muscles and tendons can be built back up over time. The flexor is the collection of muscles and tendons in the elbow that allow it to move, turn and rotate one’s wrist. Every time a ball is thrown with such velocity and ferocity, there is a minor strain on the elbow itself. By not throwing for six-to-eight weeks, the hope is that this area will repair itself to the point of being healthy and whole again. The Dodgers are aiming for a September return for Buehler, though nothing is set in stone.

 

 

Dave Funnell (@sportz_nutt51)

Dave Funnell (@sportz_nutt51)

Father, Teacher, Sports Fan. Follow me, Dave Funnell, on Twitter @sportz_nutt51

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