Injury Notes: Nevin, Severino, Houser, Suarez, Suzuki

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As expected, the Tigers will place Tyler Nevin on the 10-day injured list to begin the season.  Nevin suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain a little less than three weeks ago, making it doubtful that the 25-year-old would be fully recovered in time for Opening Day.  However, it is possible Nevin won’t miss much time, as Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press) that Nevin is on pace to start a rehab assignment this week.

Even a brief IL stint isn’t an ideal way for Nevin to begin his tenure with his new team, as he was only acquired by the Tigers in a swap with the Orioles back in December.  Nevin’s ability to play both corner infield and outfield positions makes him an interesting commodity on Detroit’s roster, as this versatility and Nevin’s right-handed bat made him a natural platoon partner or complement to such left-handed batters as Austin Meadows, Akil Baddoo, Nick Maton, or Kerry Carpenter.

More on other injury situations around baseball…

  • Luis Severino is another player headed for a season-opening IL stint, as the Yankees right-hander has suffered a lat strain.  This particular injury is a concern given that Severino missed over two months of the 2022 season with another lat strain, but the pitcher told reporters (including Greg Joyce of the New York Post) that this strain in lower in his back than last year’s problem and doesn’t seem as serious.  Severino suggested that he could miss “three or four starts,” but a more specific timeline isn’t known, since “I’m going to be a little bit cautious, but I think the Yankees are going to be more cautious than me.”  Last summer, Severino expressed both surprise and public displeasure with the Yankees’ decision to shift him from the 15-day to the 60-day IL, as he expecting a quicker return to action.
  • Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser left his spring outing yesterday due to groin tightness, and the club will further examine his status today.  The same injury bothered Houser both earlier in Spring Training and at the end of last season, resulting in an IL stint.  Considering the recurring nature of the groin problem and the close proximity to Opening Day, it certainly seems possible the Milwaukee could start Houser on the IL once more.  As the odd man out of a deep Brewers rotation, Houser had been tabbed for a relief role to begin the season, with the understanding that he is also the team’s unofficial sixth starter in the event of an injury.
  • Ranger Suarez played catch on Friday and Saturday, telling Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that his left arm still had some tightness but no pain.  In general, Suarez felt “nothing too bad” and his forearm was doing “better.”  Despite this fairly positive update, it still seems unlikely that Suarez will be able to avoid an IL trip given how the Phillies will probably be cautious with a case of elbow inflammation.  The left-hander was projected to be either the third or fourth starter in Philadelphia’s rotation this season, but with his likely absence for part of April, Bailey Falter will step into that vacancy in the starting five.  Matt Strahm or Michael Plassmeyer could take the fifth starter job, as top prospect Andrew Painter, Cristopher Sanchez, and Nick Nelson are also battling injuries.
  • The Cubs haven’t yet decided how they’ll replace Seiya Suzuki on their season-opening roster, as Suzuki will need a 10-day IL stint after missing the last month of Spring Training due to an oblique strain.  Suzuki is making such steady development in his rehab work that even though he’ll miss some time during the regular season, it may not be all that much time. “Whether you are trying to put somebody on the [40-man] roster that’s not on it or trying to fill a gap for 10 days is a big deal,” Cubs manager David Ross told Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times and other reporters.  “And it’s a big decision.  We have so much talent and a lot of depth here.  We would like to keep as much as we possibly can because of the long journey we’re about to start.”

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