Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron has been on the injured list since May 15 due to back spasms and the progress has been slow since then. Manager Bud Black told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post on Tuesday that Cron was at least a week away from baseball activities and Cron himself told Saunders today that he is still experiencing pain and doesn’t have a timetable for return (Twitter links).
It’s undoubtedly a frustrating situation both for Cron and the Rockies. Cron’s first season with the club was 2021 and it went so well that the two sides agreed to an extension. He hit 28 home runs that year and walked in 11% of his plate appearances, finishing the year with a batting line of .281/.375/.530 and wRC+ of 126. He was about to become a free agent when the club signed him for another two years and $14.5MM.
Cron had a slightly diminished overall output last year but still hit 29 home runs and provided above-average first base defense. He was off to a slow start this year, but in a small sample of 36 games and it’s possible the back issue was hampering him before he went on the IL. With that contract now a few months from expiring and the Rockies in last in the NL West, he would have been a logical trade candidate this summer, but any trade talks will obviously be affected by the lingering health issues.
Some other health notes from around the league…
- Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco departed today’s game and the club later announced to reporters, including Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, that it was due to left hamstring tightness. Injuries have become a running theme in recent years for both the Twins generally and Polanco specifically. Last year, the club was in first place for much of the season before mounting injuries led to a late-season collapse. Polanco was one of those injured players, as his left knee put him out of action in early September. That issue lingered into the start of this year and he began the season on the injured list. He debuted in late April but then landed on the IL due to a left hamstring strain in late May, and that same left hamstring now seems to be bothering him yet again. He’s hit a solid .250/.291/.450 this year but in just 30 games due to the multiple IL stints. “He’s still, I think, pretty strong in the muscle, but he definitely felt something,” manager Rocco Baldelli tells Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. “We’re going to have to pay attention to it.”
- The Phillies are set to receive some reinforcements soon, per Matt Gelb of The Athletic. Left-hander José Alvarado is set to be activated from the injured list tomorrow with infielder Alec Bohm potentially back on Saturday. Alvarado’s been out for almost a month due to inflammation in his left elbow whereas Bohm has been out a week due to a hamstring strain. Alvarado has had elite strikeout stuff in his career but also struggled with walks. He was having a great season here in 2023 prior to the IL stint, striking out a ridiculous 46.2% of opponents without issuing a single walk. He surely won’t be able to maintain a 0.63 ERA all year long but getting him back in the bullpen will be a boost nonetheless. Bohm is hitting .265/.321/.403 this year for a wRC+ of 97, which isn’t elite production but he is still an important part of the club. Their infield depth has taken serious hits this year as Darick Hall has been on the injured list for most of it while Rhys Hoskins could end up missing the entire campaign.