5 MLB Injury Storylines To Watch This Week (8/15-8/21)
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s Clostebol Suspension And Fallout
MLB spoiled Fernando Tatis Jr.’s impending return from a wrist fracture when it handed down an 80-game suspension for use of a banned substance on Friday night.
Tatis Jr. will be ineligible to play the rest of this season and the first month of 2023 and the Pro Baseball Docs argue that the star shortstop should undergo surgery on the left shoulder labrum tear that bothered him throughout 2021 and will continue to cause dislocations without surgery.
Tatis Jr. has had a tumultuous year: he broke his wrist in a December 2021 motorcycle accident and delayed surgery until March, costing him nearly three-fourths of the season and now becoming the most high-profile player linked to steroids since Alex Rodriguez in 2014.
Dodgers’ Dustin May Set To Return From Tommy John
The Dodgers have stitched together a dominant pitching rotation this season without several of their top horses for long stretches, but the pitching restoration begin on August 20 when Dustin May makes his season debut.
The 24-year-old righty suffered a torn UCL on May 1, 2021 and underwent Tommy John surgery 10 days later. In only 23 innings, May logged a 2.74 ERA and 35 strikeouts and would have surely been useful in the Dodgers’ eventual NLCS loss.
May’s timeline has tracked with the preseason expectation of a return in the final third of the season and will likely continue a gradual ascent to his pre-injury state.
Mike Trout Expects To Return “Sooner Rather Than Later”
Angels’ star Mike Trout took batting practice over the weekend and is expected to face live pitching in the coming days as he has progressed without back pain since taking a cortisone injection for his back condition that has kept him out since July 12.
Trout said that will be back “sooner rather than later,” and as the cortisone shot looks to have taken well, he is well on his way to a return with time to help revive a disappointing season in Anaheim.
Astros Lose Veteran Hitter, Get Back Top-End Starter
The scuffling Astros announced that left-handed DH and top-of-the order Michael Brantley will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, 2021 All-Star starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. made his return on Saturday from a flexor tendon strain he suffered last October.
According to the Pro Baseball Docs, Brantley should be healthy and ready to go for Opening Day 2023 and McCullers Jr. should have no adverse effects from the long recovery that was extended when he suffered a setback during the lockout.
Giancarlo Stanton, Kris Bryant Continue To Nurse Foot Injuries
Two middle-of-the-order left fielders, Giancarlo Stanton and Kris Bryant, remain on the IL with lingering foot issues.
Stanton hasn’t played since July 23 with left Achilles tendonitis and is still weeks away from a return, while Bryant is attempting to work through right foot plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise that has kept him out since July 31.
Both injuries are pain-management issues, the Pro Baseball Docs said, but both right-handed sluggers should be able to play through and remain productive when they return.