Stephen Strasburg On the Mend (MLB Injury Updates)
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The Injury Report:
Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals
Guess who’s back! The man who routinely hit 100 MPH on the radar gun as a starter last season is on his way back and is already up to 95 MPH following Tommy John surgery. Strasburg is apparently in mid-spring training mode, as far as his recovery. That puts him about a month and a half away from the Major Leagues assuming all goes well. That, of course, is a wide assumption considering how serious this injury was. Nonetheless, if you have the roster space and could use an arm for the playoff run, Strasburg could play a role this season.
Chien-Ming Wang, SP, Nationals
Once the ace of the New York Yankees, this Taiwan native enjoyed back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007. Injuries have since limited Wang to just 27 appearances. His last outing actually came more than two years ago on July 4, 2009. The 31-year old right-hander hopes that there is still something left in the tank. He is currently in the midst of a rehab start and Davey Johnson hinted that he is just a start away from joining the Major League club. Even in his prime, Wang’s value was limited because he pitches to contact, however, in the National League his ERA can dip to a respectable level so keep an eye on his progress.
Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
The top prospect in the Blue Jays system was supposed to make his Major League debut more than a month ago, but then an injury forced him to the bench. The Blue Jays have made it clear that they will take the cautious route with Lawrie, who is dominating at Las Vegas despite learning a new position (third base). Look for Lawrie to spend at least the next two weeks in the Minor Leagues. Some good news is that current third baseman Edwin Encarnacion has heated up over the last month, even though he is clearly a short-term solution.
Jason Heyward, OF, Braves / Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves
The Braves are very much in contention in spite of the awful play of Jason Heyward this season. For a second straight season the much-heralded prospect has dealt with some injuries, and it’s an ankle injury that has forced Heyward to miss out on the friendly confines of Coors Field. It’s been a power outage for Heyward this season, as his slugging is currently under .400. Before the panic sets in remember, this talent is just 21-years old. He is listed as day-to-day because of an ankle injury, but he is expected to play tonight.
Chipper Jones has been plagued by injuries for what seems like a decade now. The 38-year old remains one of the better power options in the Braves lineup, even though the career .304 hitter has been a .260 hitter the last three seasons. Recovering from minor knee surgery, Jones is still a few weeks away from returning to the Braves lineup, but he has taken some live batting practice and believes he may be a bit ahead of schedule.
David Wright, 3B Mets / Ike Davis, 3B, Mets
The big question for Mets fans is whether we will ever see Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright in the lineup together again. While Wright is enjoying a rehab stint, Carlos Beltran can be traded any day now. Wright is recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back. The 28-year old has been raking at Class-A, and has set this weekend as a possible return date.
Such progress has not come to Ike Davis, the Mets young first baseman who appeared on his way to breakout season before injuring his ankle. While the New York tabloids have gone back and forth on rumors surrounding whether he will be shut down this season, Davis himself has said that if he does not make serious progress in the next three weeks, the season will be lost. The Mets have been thrilled with the play of replacements Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda. In fact, when Wright does return it may make the most sense to alternate Murphy and Duda at first, while also playing Murphy a bit at second base.