Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Betts Could Miss Extended Time

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Betts Could Miss Extended Time

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

Mookie Betts

The Dodgers outfielder suffered a broken rib in a collision with teammate Cody Bellinger. The injury was originally believed to be a rib contusion after initial X-rays came back negative. However, a CT scan was performed after Betts reported lingering pain and discomfort in the area, revealing the fracture. This is sequence of events isn't uncommon. X-ray films are traditionally good for determining the integrity of bone but do have their limitations. In some cases, a break can be missed or not be seen until healing has begun, especially in smaller bones like the carpal bones of the wrist or the ribs. CT scans allow clinicians to view an injury site in multiple planes and at a higher contrast resolution, creating a more detailed image that can pinpoint hard to see breaks.

With the injury properly identified, Betts was sent to the injured list. The Dodgers expressed optimism that Betts can return to the field in roughly two weeks. However, recent history suggests fantasy managers should anticipate a lengthier time away. Derek Rhoads of Baseball Prospectus examined recent rib fractures and discovered the average time lost was 45 days. We should get a better idea of Betts' status in a week to 10 days when the team reevaluates the status of the break, but those invested in Betts should make plans for this to be, at best, a multiweek absence.

Manny Machado

The Padres leader in home runs, batting average and RBI is expected to miss time after

Mookie Betts

The Dodgers outfielder suffered a broken rib in a collision with teammate Cody Bellinger. The injury was originally believed to be a rib contusion after initial X-rays came back negative. However, a CT scan was performed after Betts reported lingering pain and discomfort in the area, revealing the fracture. This is sequence of events isn't uncommon. X-ray films are traditionally good for determining the integrity of bone but do have their limitations. In some cases, a break can be missed or not be seen until healing has begun, especially in smaller bones like the carpal bones of the wrist or the ribs. CT scans allow clinicians to view an injury site in multiple planes and at a higher contrast resolution, creating a more detailed image that can pinpoint hard to see breaks.

With the injury properly identified, Betts was sent to the injured list. The Dodgers expressed optimism that Betts can return to the field in roughly two weeks. However, recent history suggests fantasy managers should anticipate a lengthier time away. Derek Rhoads of Baseball Prospectus examined recent rib fractures and discovered the average time lost was 45 days. We should get a better idea of Betts' status in a week to 10 days when the team reevaluates the status of the break, but those invested in Betts should make plans for this to be, at best, a multiweek absence.

Manny Machado

The Padres leader in home runs, batting average and RBI is expected to miss time after suffering a nasty-looking injury over the weekend. Machado was injured while running to first in attempt to beat out a grounder. As he reached the bag, he slipped, and his left ankle awkwardly caught the ground behind first base. His momentum forced his ankle to inversion, the classic mechanism of injury for an ankle sprain. Fortunately, X-rays were negative, and he was indeed diagnosed with a sprained ankle.

The reports Monday suggests the injury may have looked worse than it actually is. While he did not play Monday, the team opted to not immediately place Machado on the IL. The hope is a few days off will allow him to adequately recuperate and return to the lineup without an extended absence. A retroactive move could be made if he does not improve. Keep Machado out of your everyday lineup for the foreseeable future and hope San Diego's optimism isn't misplaced.

Stephen Strasburg

Like Betts, Strasburg is dealing with a rib injury. However, the injury for the Washington right-hander is substantially different, and there is a chance Strasburg may be lost for the season. 

Strasburg underwent surgery in July of 2021 for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) in his throwing arm. TOS occurs when blood vessels and/or a bundle of nerves known as the brachial plexus become compressed in the shoulder, specifically where the first rib, its associated thoracic vertebrae and the upper portion of the sternum are located. The impingement often leads to numbness, tingling and weakness of the shoulder and arm, and can even carry over into the back. Since Strasburg's condition was labeled neurogenic TOS, we know the compressed tissue was the bundle of the nerve. The compression can be caused by an assortment of issues, including scar tissue, muscles in the area or even the anatomical shape of the first rib. For Strasburg, his problem appears linked to his first rib as that was the area addressed in his surgery. It sounds like Strasburg underwent a rib resection in which the problematic bone was removed. Now he is dealing with a stress reaction in the subsequent two ribs. It seems plausible that the force Strasburg generates when pitching was diverted through the now-altered area. As a result, Strasburg will not be allowed to throw for the foreseeable future, and it's hard to be optimistic about his long-term health. For fantasy purposes, I would send the veteran to the waiver wire and consider adding a player who's healthy and able to contribute.

Check Swings

Bryce Harper: The Phillies All-Star remains limited by his sprained elbow, but he is currently missing time with an infected blister. He is taking antibiotics for the issue and should be back soon, possibly as early as Tuesday. The absence may be frustrating for some fantasy owners, but try to look at it as extra rest for his still ailing elbow.

Tyler O'Neill and Yoan Moncada: Both players hit the IL with hamstring strains. O'Neill's injury involved his left hamstring and occurred as he rounded into second base. This is the second IL trip for the Cardinals outfielder this season after he missed time with right shoulder impingement in May. Moncada's situation is more complicated, as he has already time missed for another lower extremity issue. Since returning from an oblique injury, Moncada has battled lingering soreness in his quadriceps muscle. Now he will miss at least 10 days with a "mild" hamstring strain. Look for both players to miss at least two weeks recovering, with Moncada's absence likely to be longer. Mets All-Star Jeff McNeil could join Moncada and O'Neill on the IL after exiting Monday's game with hamstring tightness. He is slated for a MRI, but it's worth mentioning the initial reports on both O'Neill and Moncada had their injuries listed as "tightness."

Anthony Rendon: The Angels third baseman is done for the year due to a lingering wrist issue. The medical staff of Los Angeles revealed the issue was linked to a subluxed tendon of the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle. The ECU is anchored to the wrist and forearm, and is normally held in place by a sheath that surrounds the tendon. It the sheath ruptures, the tendon can begin to slip in and out of place, creating a condition known as "snapping wrist." Surgery will help return that tendon to its normal positioning and stabilize the problem, preventing any long-lasting damage to the tendon itself. Players like Jose Bautista, David Ortiz, and Nelson Cruz have suffered comparable injuries and managed to return to their previous level of play. Sadly, the surgery is just the latest setback for Rendon who has seen his time in an Angels uniform severely marred by injury.

Fernando Tatis: Machado's injury simply compounded the disappointing news regarding Tatis' broken wrist. While a recent evaluation did show healing is occurring in his fractured scaphoid bone, it is not enough to allow Tatis to resume swinging a bat. As a result, a June return has become unlikely. He will undergo more testing in the near future, but for now he continues to be a sunk cost for fantasy purposes.

Brandon Woodruff: It seems like Woodruff's ankle is healthy and his case of Reyanud's syndrome is improving. He pitched just 2.2 innings in his recent rehab appearance, but he remarkably managed to strike out seven of the eight batters he faced. Woodruff is slated to make an additional rehab start and, if all goes well, could rejoin the Brewers rotation by early next week.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
MLB Picks Today: Expert MLB Bets and Player Props for Monday,  July 4
MLB Picks Today: Expert MLB Bets and Player Props for Monday, July 4
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Monday Picks
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Monday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Monday Targets
FanDuel MLB: Monday Targets