Injury Report: July 5: Jon Lester, Asdrubal Cabrera, Albert Pujols & More

Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:

Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox – Ian Browne (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Left lat strain for Lester. I’m no doctor, but it seems like that one is usually a couple of weeks.”  Time will tell, but this certainly isn’t good news (though there was some optimism, as Sean McAdam later tweeted, “Source: Lat strain will sideline Lester for 2 weeks.”.  The team does have numerous options to replace him, including Alfredo Aceves or Kevin Millwood, but obviously no one can truly step into his role.  There’s no reason for the Red Sox to rush him, so it would appear likely that he ends up on the DL (especially with the All-Star Break fast approaching, which will allow the team to manipulate their rotation).  Owners need to hit the wire and find a suitable replacement.

Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians – According to the team’s Twitter feed, “right ankle sprain for Asdrubal Cabrera. He is day to day. Injured fielding a ground ball in the 3rd inning and left the game in 4th”.  Cabrera has been one of the biggest surprises of 2011, entering yesterday hitting .293 with 14 HR, 49 RBI, 53 R and 12 SB.  Hopefully he can get back on the diamond soon.

Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers – He was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day as he is suffering from a calf injury.  There has been talk that he’s close, but the Brewers aren’t going to rush him back only to see him suffer a setback.  Continue monitoring the pregame lineup and hope that he can return soon.

Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals – He was activated off the DL yesterday, so while he didn’t start it clearly should be any day now (in fact, according to Brian Stull via Twitter, “TLR confirmed in postgame that Pujols will be in the lineup tomorrow.”).  It’s a remarkable recovery, though fantasy owners are going to be concerned that his wrist injury could cause power issues moving forward.  However, the determination of Pujols to come back as quickly as possible, despite what it could mean for his numbers and free agent payday, should be applauded.  If all he cared about was the numbers, he would be still sitting on the sidelines, making sure he was 100% before coming back.  Instead he’s getting in there and looking to help his team.  Good for him, though hopefully he doesn’t show any ill effects moving forward.

Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies – Troy Renck (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Cargo will play catch, run and try some light swings w a fungo bat. Realistically he won’t play until Thursday at earliest”.  Keep that in mind, but at least it appears like the injury isn’t going to cost him a significant bulk of time.  All we can do is continue monitoring the lineups and hope that he can return before long.

Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies – In a separate tweet Renck is reporting that, “Tulo will just do treatment today ‘it’s a little sore. I don’t want to put time on it. But it’s not serious.’. Likely out until thurs”.  In other words it appears like the Rockies will be without their two stars for at least another day, if not longer.  All we can do is monitor the situation and hope for the best.

Scott Baker – Minnesota Twins – According to La Velle E. Neal III of The Minneapolis Star Tribune (click here for the post), “Scott Baker left tonight’s game with a mild right elbow strain and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. A strain isn’t bad. But anything involving the elbow isn’t good.”  He had thrown five solid innings prior to being forced out, allowing just an unearned run on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP.  At this point all you can do is stay tuned and hope for the best.

Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees – Erik Boland (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Rivera still not concerned but said Yankees don’t want to take any chances and that he’s out tonight. Though said could pitch in emergency”.  It still does not sound like an overly concerning situation, though the longer he remains sidelined the more nervous fantasy owners will grow.  For now just monitor the situation and hope that he can return soon.  David Robertson figures to get any save opportunities in his absence, though an extended absence could send the Yankees quickly to kick the tires on potential deals.

Luke Scott – Baltimore Orioles – According to Brittany Ghiroli of (click here for the article), “The Orioles are expected to place left fielder Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday’s game at Texas, making room for right-handed pitcher Mitch Atkins, who will make his first career Major League start in Texas.”  Scott’s shoulder has been an issue all season, with offseason surgery likely necessary, so the Orioles will hope that a two week rest will help him get through the remainder of the year.  Look for Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold to see time in LF while Scott is out.

Yunel Escobar – Toronto Blue Jays – While he was initially in the starting lineup yesterday, Shi Davidi (via Twitter reported that, “Yunel Escobar scratched. McDonald to play short, McCoy in at second and batting ninth”.  Continue to consider Escobar day-to-day for the time being and wait for him to prove that he can return to the lineup before using him.

Matt LaPorta – Cleveland Indians – According to Paul Hoynes (via Twitter), “Look for #Indians to activate Matt LaPorta after tonight’s game. Could also name Thurday’s starter. It should be Zach McAllister.”  LaPorta last played on June 17 and is hitting .242 with 8 HR, 31 RBI and 24 R on the season.  He has upside, which we’ve heard about for some time, and was struggling with a .276 BABIP prior to the injury (though his 52.9% FB% shows he may be swinging for the fences).  The strikeouts aren’t too out of control (23.7%), but until he shows more power (9.9% HR/FB), his value is going to be limited as a 1B.

Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox – Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Navarro playing third Youk hopes to be back in tomorrow Navarro on field now for early work with Pedroia”.  It sounds like the Red Sox are just playing it safe after Youkilis was hit in the back on Monday.  Consider him day-to-day, but it appears like he won’t be out long.

Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies – According to Todd Zolecki of (click here for the post), “Shane Victorino is headed to Philadelphia to see hand specialist Randall Culp.  He is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow in Florida.”  Matt Gelb (via Twitter) later added that, “Grade 1 sprain for Victorino. Team will decide in next 48 hours if he goes to the DL.”  Michael Martinez started in Victorino’s place, though he should be considered more of an NL-only option.  We’ll know the final verdict in the next few days, so just stay patient for now.

Jason Kubel – Minnesota Twins – Rhett Bollinger (via Twitter) is reporting that, Kubel talked to Dr. about MRI on left foot: ‘He said it looked the same. Nothing new. It’s just aggravated joints in there.’”  Good news, but exactly where that leaves us is unknown at this time.  Hopefully we get a little bit more information in the near future.

Brennan Boesch – Detroit Tigers – Jason Beck (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Boesch is day-to-day with a right knee contusion.”  Boesch sustained the injury after fouling a ball off his leg.  Monitor the pregame lineups, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be anything too concerning.

Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals – After giving owners a little bit of a scare, sitting out due to tenderness in the abdominal area that required surgery, Zimmerman returned to the lineup and went 2-4 with 1 R yesterday.  Hopefully this can be the start of a hot streak for him.

Clayton Richard – San Diego Padres – According to Corey Brock of (click here for the article), “A day after Padres pitcher Clayton Richard was pulled from a start after tossing five shutout innings against the Giants, he landed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained left shoulder.”  It is unknown who will take his spot in the rotation, but it appears that the team is playing it safe with him.  Keep him stashed for now.

Miguel Olivo – Seattle Mariners – He returned to the lineup, going 0-4.  At least he’s back though, right?  I mentioned him as a potential sell high candidate prior to the injury, and now may be the perfect time to part ways with him.

Jon Garland – Los Angeles Dodgers – According to Dylan Hernandez (via Twitter), “Garland will have season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday.”  He’ll leave behind a 4.33 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over 54.0 innings of work.  Rubby De La Rosa, who has been filling in for Garland, should remain in the rotation for the time being.  He has a ton of potential, but should be viewed as a low-end option for now.

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