Don't touch his head!
Beltre may have a recurrence of the quad strain that hobbled him for part of spring training. He came off the field in Tuesday's game, and Matthew Carroll of The Sports Xchange (h/t Yahoo! Sports) reports that he will head to Dr. Keith Meister's office in Dallas for MRIs and a check. It's early, but sources tell me that Beltre is likely to head to the DL, though they hope Meister is more positive than early indications.
Hamels went 65 pitches in his first outing, but the Philadelphia Phillies want him up to 90 before they say he's ready. That could take two more rehab starts, though it's unclear if they'll push him up from Clearwater. The weather is nice there, and with Hamels owned in 92 percent of leagues, it's going to be tough to steal him anyway. If you drafted him, hold. His shoulder looks fine. He's just building stamina now.
Strained lats tend to be a big negative for pitchers. First, they can take months to heal, and second, they're an indication of something going very wrong with the kinetic chain. Paxton doesn't seem to have either of those. He felt it tighten up, told the medical staff and got out of the game. That shows how much even the young pitchers trust Rick Griffin and his staff.
Paxton may still hit the DL as a precaution, but this looks to have been minimized by a solid medical staff and a smart young pitcher.
Walker's first rehab stint was a pure success, so he'll shift over to Jackson (Double-A) for his second. He'll likely have one more after this, assuming no setbacks with his shoulder. Like with Hamels, he's looked solid and is just building stamina. The injury to Paxton shouldn't push his schedule up, but if you see his count over 80, it will be an option for the Seattle Mariners.
The M's pitching has been the story so far this season, and Iwakuma's on the upswing, which could help take some pressure off Felix Hernandez and their young arms. He's going to be starting his side sessions and if all goes well, he'll have a rehab outing (likely at High Desert [Advanced-A]) as soon as next week. I don't anticipate any setbacks, so a May 1 return is still the target.
Robertson hits the DL with a groin strain. The Yankees closer admitted not telling anyone, including the manager and AT, about the injury for more than a day, so that's a problem we'll have to keep an eye on with this team again. Matt Thornton is likely to get the save opportunities while Robertson is out, but Shawn Kelley could be in the mix as well. It's a very thin and inexperienced pen. I wonder if Joe Girardi still has Mariano Rivera's number.
Brian Wilson is already back throwing on a rehab assignment, kicking the doomsayers in the teeth. His ulnar nerve issue isn't going to require surgery yet, indicating that the inflammation is under control. We'll see whether it remains under control while he throws, but there's positive signs so far. It's one more reminder to never assume.
Ellis had meniscus surgery, but the Dodgers aren't saying whether he had meniscus removal or repair. The former can take two to four weeks of recovery, while the latter is more like 10 to 12 weeks. With the word being he's expected back in four to six, the guess is that it's removal and that the Dodgers are giving their catcher a bit of a conservative timeframe. The Dodgers lack depth at catcher despite their payroll and will be forced to overexpose Drew Butera until Ellis is back.
Aroldis Chapman/Jonathan Broxton
Aroldis Chapman is back throwing, though the team will take things slow. Chapman has to be returned through the concussion protocol as well as watch the plate and massive incision in his head. The Cincinnati Reds get a bit more time with Jonathan Broxton coming off the DL. He'll immediately become the closer for a team that Bryan Price seems to be struggling with. I don't think it's Price's fault; this team just isn't very good.