In his latest column, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer calls it “unlikely” that outfielder Leonys Martin will play with the Indians again this season. A trade deadline pickup, Martin has been on the disabled list for more than a week after being diagnosed with a bacterial infection that, at one point, was considered to be life-threatening in nature. While all of baseball breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Indians announced that Martin was in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery, his absence puts Cleveland back in the same spot it was prior to acquiring him in late July. Michael Brantley is performing well again as the team’s regular left fielder, but the rest of the outfield mix is comprised by struggling rookie Greg Allen and poorly performing veterans Rajai Davis and Melky Cabrera. It seems reasonable to expect that the team will be on the hunt for additional outfield help between now and Aug. 31.
Here are some additional health updates from around the game:
- Indians skipper Terry Francona says the club anticipates that breakout righty Trevor Bauer will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a fibula stress fracture, as T.J. Zuppe of The Athletic was among those to tweet. That’s obviously a huge disappointment for a pitcher who has emerged as one of the best in baseball this year. With the postseason beckoning, it’s also a big concern for the Cleveland ballclub. Of course, the team will not need to worry about the loss down the stretch with the division all but in hand. But it’ll certainly be interesting to see just how Bauer is brought along as the playoffs approach.
- It was a mixed bag of injury news today for the Red Sox, who will send third baseman Rafael Devers to the 10-day disabled list while activating second bagger Ian Kinsler. No further roster moves will be necessary to accommodate the change. Devers is hitting the shelf for the third time in the last six weeks or so and it’s the second occasion as to which the hamstring is to blame. That said, it’s not clear that the organization really believes there’s cause for concern that Devers won’t be at full strength come October.
- Tigers backstop John Hicks likely won’t make it back this year after requiring abdominal surgery, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press recently reported. That’s a disappointing turn for a player who has turned in a solid performance in a robust role this year. Hicks, who is nearing his 29th birthday, has hit within range of league average at the MLB level since landing in Detroit. While he has been miscast as a part-time first baseman, his offensive work is more than adequate for a time-sharing catcher.
- The Rangers have placed center fielder Delino DeShields Jr. on the 10-day DL with a finger fracture. He suffered the break to the tip of his right middle finger. Drew Robinson will be recalled to take the roster spot. It has been a tough year at the plate for DeShields, who turned 26 just yesterday. He has swiped 18 bags on the year, but carries only a .204/.303/.272 slash over 348 plate appearances. As the Rangers look ahead to an offseason of uncertainty, they’d surely like to see DeShields in action as much as possible, so the hope will be that he can bounce back relatively quickly.
- Elsewhere in Texas, the slumping Astros were glad today to get some promising injury reports. Outfielder George Springer was activated off of the 10-day DL, as Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links). Meanwhile, star second bagger Jose Altuve will likely need a rehab stint but seems to be progressing from his knee issues. The ’Stros are trying to hold off a surprisingly strong challenge in the division.
- Nationals righty Jeremy Hellickson is destined for his own DL stint, as Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com was among those to report. Fortunately, he’s dealing with a sprain rather than a break in his wrist, which was injured in a play at the plate. It seems the Nats are hopeful that Stephen Strasburg could be ready to return by Tuesday, when Hellickson was next scheduled to start. Losing Hellickson would only be the latest blow for an organization that has dealt with problem after problem in 2018. While it’s still not impossible to imagine a late surge, the Nats need all hands on deck to make a comeback plausible.
- For the Cardinals, it has been all positives of late. But the team could still stand to get a few pieces back. In particular, righties Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are on the come back trail. As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweets, Wacha is set to begin a rehab assignment in short order and Martinez is now working in a relief capacity in the minors. In the case of Martinez, the plan is for him to shift to the bullpen when he is ready to roll, which perhaps won’t be far off now that he’s pitching competitively.