Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: End of Regular-Season Wrap-Up

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: End of Regular-Season Wrap-Up

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

The last full week of the 2022 MLB season is upon us. Since the season began, more than 700 players have been sent to the injured list and more than 41,000 days have been lost to injury or illness. The Orioles, Guardians, Astros, Cardinals and Blue Jays were the "healthiest" teams this year, while the Reds, Twins, Rays, Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers surrendered the most time lost. Hopefully the injury analysis provided here on Rotowire helped you win draft day and survive the gruel of the season. If you are still playing for a fantasy title, best of luck in the final days of the season.

Ronald Acuna: The 2022 season has been a bit of a disappointment for Acuna as he works his way back from his previous ACL tear. He has logged 28 stolen bases, the second-highest total of his career, and his other hitting numbers have been adequate, if not good. Unfortunately, the production has not matched his draft day price tag, leaving those who invested in the former All-Star understandably underwhelmed. Acuna has also dealt with lingering pain in his mid back, forcing him out of two games last week. He was able to pinch hit on Sunday, and returned to the outfield Monday. He finished 0-for-5. Consider him day-to-day moving forward.

Byron Buxton: The Twins outfielder opted for surgery after the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention. Buxton was on the IL with a hip flexor strain, but the operation is needed

The last full week of the 2022 MLB season is upon us. Since the season began, more than 700 players have been sent to the injured list and more than 41,000 days have been lost to injury or illness. The Orioles, Guardians, Astros, Cardinals and Blue Jays were the "healthiest" teams this year, while the Reds, Twins, Rays, Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers surrendered the most time lost. Hopefully the injury analysis provided here on Rotowire helped you win draft day and survive the gruel of the season. If you are still playing for a fantasy title, best of luck in the final days of the season.

Ronald Acuna: The 2022 season has been a bit of a disappointment for Acuna as he works his way back from his previous ACL tear. He has logged 28 stolen bases, the second-highest total of his career, and his other hitting numbers have been adequate, if not good. Unfortunately, the production has not matched his draft day price tag, leaving those who invested in the former All-Star understandably underwhelmed. Acuna has also dealt with lingering pain in his mid back, forcing him out of two games last week. He was able to pinch hit on Sunday, and returned to the outfield Monday. He finished 0-for-5. Consider him day-to-day moving forward.

Byron Buxton: The Twins outfielder opted for surgery after the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention. Buxton was on the IL with a hip flexor strain, but the operation is needed to address a lingering knee injury. His right knee forced Buxton to miss time at various points of the season, including a midseason stretch in which he received a PRP injection in the joint. By going under the knife now, Buxton should have a jump-start on his rehab protocol and be able to return for the 2023 spring training. He will once again enter fantasy drafts with a high ceiling, limited by his propensity for injury. 

Nelson Cruz: The veteran slugger continues to sit with inflammation in his eye. Cruz has not played since September 13 as the issue lingers. The team has acknowledged he is progressing and won't send him to the IL on the off chance he can play before the end of the season. However, the problem is still affecting his vision, and don't expect him to make much of an impact to close out the year.  

Starling Marte: The Mets are hoping Marte will be cleared in time to take part in the team's three-game series against the Braves starting Friday, September 30. The outfielder has been sidelined with a nondisplaced fracture of his right middle finger and has struggled to receive clearance to hit and throw as the associated symptoms have persisted. However, a CT scan performed over the weekend showed signs of healing and he will be allowed to return to baseball activities as tolerated. "As tolerated" is often code for as long as he can adequately manage the associated pain and symptoms. As a result, it's hard to imagine him returning to top form, but at least Marte has a chance to record a few at-bats before the start of the postseason.

Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin: The Dodgers continue to manage injuries to their pitching staff. Just as Gonsolin is nearing a return from his forearm strain, May hit the IL with a back injury. The injury is being described a lower back tightness, suggesting it's muscular in nature. May will not be eligible to return until the NLDS and will likely be on a strict pitch limit when he does return. A shift to the bullpen remains a real possibility. Gonsolin will make his final rehab appearance Tuesday with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He will be limited to two innings but will rejoin the big-league club if the outing goes accordingly. However, he too will be on an innings cap, likely taking him out of the running for wins or quality starts. Gonsolin will have more value in roto leagues than in head-to-head formats but remains a limited fantasy option.

Jeremy Pena: The Astros shortstop suffered facial abrasions Saturday when he landed on his face going into home. He cleared the concussion protocol but did not play on Sunday. It seems likely Houston was taking advantage of a scheduled day off on Monday to provide Pena with additional rest. However, concussions are volatile and do not always act in a linear fashion. He should be fine for Tuesday, but keep an eye on his status in case associated symptoms start to surface.

Luis Robert: The White Sox outfielder will miss the remainder of the season after hitting the IL with a sprained left wrist. Robert was effective when healthy but was limited to just 98 games played. He endured multiple wrist injuries, COVID-19, lightheadedness and a groin strain. All these issues should be resolved during the offseason, and Robert could once again be a top option in 2023 drafts.

Julio Rodriguez: The rookie phenom hit the IL on Friday after battling recurring back spasms. The official diagnosis is a lower back strain, meaning the spasms were the result of a muscle-related injury. If the Mariners medical staff can break the painful pain-spasms cycle and address the strain, then Rodriguez should be able to move past the issue. However, back strains can be easily aggravated or re-injured, and Rodriguez will carry a moderate degree of injury risk when he ultimately returns.  He'll be eligible to return for the final series of the season, but that is far from a guarantee. Those not in keeper or dynasty leagues may want to look elsewhere to close out the season.

Spencer Strider: The rookie right-hander will not pitch again in the regular season after suffering a mild left oblique strain. The team is optimistic he will return in the postseason but this injury tanks his fantasy value for the remainder of the season. Unless you are in a dynasty or keeper league, it is safe to send Strider to the waiver wire.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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