Catching up on some recent injury news…
- The Guardians made a handful of roster moves on Friday, with Josh Naylor going onto the COVID-related injury list, per Mandy Bell of MLB.com. Headed in the other direction was Yu Chang, who landed on the COVID IL a month ago. The club also recalled Richie Palacios and optioned Kirk McCarty. On Wednesday, the Guardians had their game against the White Sox postponed after multiple positive tests among their coaching staff. The next day, seven staff members were placed in COVID protocol in relation to this outbreak. It seems that this has extended to Naylor, though it’s unclear if he has been shelved due to a positive test, showing symptoms or contact tracing. The first baseman/outfielder has been excellent so far this year, hitting .347/.377/.611 for a wRC+ of 191 through 20 games. With Naylor absent last night, the club slid Owen Miller from second to first and used Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario up the middle.
- The Marlins placed Joey Wendle on the 10-day injured list yesterday with a right hamstring strain, retroactive to May 12, per their transactions tracker at MLB.com. In a corresponding move, Brian Anderson was activated off the COVID IL. The 40-man roster had a couple of vacancies and is now at 39, though Jon Berti and Richard Bleier remain on the COVID list and will need roster spots when they return. Losing Wendle is certainly a hit for the Marlins, as he has started this season hot. Through 25 games, he’s hitting .304/.368/.456, 140 wRC+. He’s also added four steals and good defense to accumulate 1.2 wins above replacement already, according to FanGraphs. However, it’s possible that the return of Anderson can make it close to a wash, as he was hitting .262/.385/.385 before landing on the IL, producing a wRC+ of 131.
- The Orioles announced yesterday that first baseman Ryan Mountcastle was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left wrist forearm strain, retroactive to May 11. Jorge Lopez returned from the bereavement list in a corresponding move. Mountcastle’s production is down a few ticks relative to last year, but still above league average. In 2021, he hit .255/.309/.487 for a wRC+ of 111. This year, he’s moved to .268/.299/.402, wRC+ of 104. He seems to be taking a more contact-oriented approach, at least in this small sample of 28 games. His swing percentage is up on pitches inside and outside the zone, but his contact rates have also gone up in both cases. As a result, his walk and strikeout rates are both down relative to previous years. That’s led to a drop in slugging, though that’s also been a trend across the league so far this year. With Mountcastle out, Trey Mancini and Tyler Nevin will likely cover first base for him.