MLB Injury News and Analysis: March 23

Ryan HallamAnalyst IMarch 23, 2009

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses during Photo Day on February 20, 2009 at the Charlotte County Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Mike Napoli will hopefully catch in a Cactus League game sometime this week.  

If this happens, there is still a chance he will begin the season in the lineup rather than on the DL.  

Napoli is recovering from off season shoulder surgery during which his shoulder was cleaned out in late October.  

Long term this won’t be an issue—it merely when the Angels are going to take the reigns off of him and let him catch.  He could end up with close to 30 HR and coming out of the catcher slot, that’s immensely valuable.  

I wouldn’t hesitate to draft him at all.


Trevor Hoffman’s chances of being healthy for Opening Day are looker more and more slim, according to Ken Macha.  This is another reason why I don’t end up drafting closers—one thing ends up completely ruining their value.  

Oblique strains are a rather big nuisance and could linger for quite a while.  Hoffman isn’t getting any younger and generally takes older players somewhat longer to heal, especially to muscular injuries.  

Once Hoffman comes back, look for his velocity and movement on his pitches.  If they are okay, then he is too.


Fernando Perez underwent surgery and the damage was worse than initially expected. The ligament damage was worse than expected and will therefore be out roughly four to five months.  This puts him out till August.

In all honesty, I’m not sure how much he will be able to help out down the stretch run.  Fernando dislocated his wrist and caused massive ligament damage in the process.  I wouldn’t target him at all.


B.J. Upton will likely start the season on the DL, and be reinstated on April 13 when the Rays get out of the cold weather.  

This is more just being extra cautious because the shoulder will take longer to get loose and be more likely to tighten up in between innings.  This shouldn’t affect his draft position at all.


Kevin Youkilis took BP without the walking boot so he is making very good progress with his recovery.  I think he should be close to ready for Opening Day, but the cold weather in the northeast may necessitate an extra day or two off in the beginning of the year.


Vernon Wells started in centerfield on Saturday after four weeks of rehabbing his strained left hamstring.  Hamstring strains are a fairly straightforward rehabilitation, but the worry is that this is the second strain of his left hamstring within a year.  Multiple strains often result in an increased likelihood of re-injury.  

Because of the increased chance of re-injury, I would knock him down a few rounds.


Corey Koskie will be retiring after his latest setback in his recovery from post-concussion syndrome.  Post-concussion syndrome is still years away from being fully understood, and Corey’s case is another example about how far we as sports medicine professionals have to go.


John Parrish will undergo surgery on his left shoulder to determine the cause of the pain and discomfort.  They haven’t been able to figure out the cause of the pain so exploratory surgery appears to be the next step.  

At bare minimum, this will set him back several weeks, even if absolutely nothing is wrong. While he didn’t exactly have a high draft status to start with, it appears you can knock him off every list.


Cole Hamels had a succesful bullpen session, with only residual soreness from the injection site.  This is a very good sign, but I still have my hesitations about him.  

Cole actually threw 41 pitches which is a fairly taxing bullpen session.   He’ll throw a minor league game, then start one or two spring starts, and hopefully be ready for Opening Day.


Garret Anderson began some light running and didn’t have any soreness in his calf on Friday.  

Garret has been sidelined since March 7 with a left calf strain.  Calf strains are similar to hamstring strains and are fairly straightforward in terms of rehab. As an older player, he will likely take a little longer to fully recover.  

He will likely test it out running a couple more times before taking part in spring games again.  With close to two weeks until Opening Day, I think he should be ready for it.


Dustin Pedroia returned to action after straining an abdominal muscle in the WBC.  I think he’s completely recovered and shouldn’t affect his draft status at all.


Mark Worrell will have Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2009.


Chase Utley should be ready for Opening Day, and looks to be completely healthy now.