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Week That Was

Week That Was: Injuries Mount

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

He's the hero they need, and the one they deserve. Unfortunately, Mets fans will have to do without their Dark Knight anyway.


Matt Harvey has been dealing with shoulder issues for much of the season, and this week he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, requiring surgery. It is a somewhat rare condition affecting the shoulder and neck area. Twins starter Phil Hughes recently underwent an operation for a variation of the same issue. It's a season-ender, and the more troubling implications are long-term.


Historically, this is a very tough ailment to come back from. Some hurlers fail to return entirely, while others never regain their previous level of effectiveness. Of course, Harvey is an exceptional talent and still only 27 years old, so his chances are probably better than most. Even in a best case scenario, though, it's hard to believe he'll be ready to go next April.


It's been tough sledding thus far health-wise for the stud righty, who already lost his 2014 campaign to Tommy John surgery.


Replacing Harvey is 26-year-old right-hander Logan Verrett. He's about average but has a chance to stick and could offer some value in deeper leagues.


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* Adding to New York's rotation concerns, Noah Syndergaard left Friday night's start in the fifth with arm fatigue. He claims it is simply a speed bump as he adjusts to the workload of his first full MLB season. However, given the ongoing issues he's been having with a bone spur in his elbow, it's a murky situation.


Right now, it's not clear whether Syndergaard will miss any starts. This week's All-Star break comes at a good time.


The Mets also lost Yoenis Cespedes from Friday's game with a strained quad, though they are hopeful he will avoid a DL stint.


* The Royals placed closer Wade Davis on the disabled list with a strained forearm. While he has remained effective as ever, the righty had experienced a distinct drop in strikeouts recently. Hopefully the time off will get him right, although it's obviously something to monitor given the ominous nature of forearm issues.


He has already resumed throwing, which is promising. Davis is in line to return on July 16th when he's eligible. If you want a chance at an extra save or two in the meantime, take a look at Kelvin Herrera or Joakim Soria.


* Through 55 games, Giancarlo Stanton's age 26 season had been a resounding disappointment. The immensely talented slugger was batting .193 with only 12 homers and 29 RBI. The strikeouts were piling up at a stunning rate.


Halfway through June, Stanton finally flipped a switch. Since the Marlins opened a homestand against the Rockies on June 17th, he is batting .338 with a 1.092 OPS to go along with seven homers and 18 RBI in 19 games. He really turned up the heat this week, with back-to-back two-homer games in New York.


Patience is paying off for Stanton owners who waited out the lengthy season-opening slump. His strikeouts are getting back in line with his career norm and he's once again crushing the ball with regularity.


Stanton appears primed for a big second half.


* After completing a lengthy rehab from labrum surgery, Hyun-Jin Ryu made his first start of 2016 on Thursday. He was none too sharp.


Toeing the rubber for the first time since last May, the Korean lefty was shelled for six runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. It's not an encouraging sign, especially coupled with his shaky results while building up in the minors.


The track record for pitchers coming back from a torn labrum isn't great. Then again, Ryu was very good in his first two big-league seasons and never relied on big velocity. Given his relatively low ownership rate (32 percent in Yahoo), this might be a good time to buy low if you have an open roster spot. He's slated to pitch in Arizona and St. Louis in his next two turns, so it'll probably be best to keep him on the bench for now.


* Across town, C.J. Wilson is in for his own long road to recovery after being tabbed for shoulder surgery this week. The southpaw has spent his entire season trying to rehab and build up strength but it never came to fruition. He's set to become a free agent during the offseason but likely won't be ready to roll again until around midway through 2017.


* The Twins own the worst record in baseball and are in all-out seller mode, but with all of their injuries and poor performances they don't have a ton of appealing assets. Ervin Santana is one pitcher who might be building a market for himself. The veteran righty delivered a shutout gem against the A's at Target Field on Wednesday, and has quietly put together a 1.63 ERA over his last four starts while holding opponents to a .448 OPS.


Of course, Santana also had his ERA up at 5.10 less than a month ago. He's notoriously streaky, so it's unlikely that his hot streak probably has inflated his value all that drastically, especially considering that he missed half of last year with a PED ban and is owed $28 million over the next two years – his age 34 and 35 seasons.


If you're interested, I wrote about the merits of trading Santana over at Twins Daily.


* Tyler Glasnow, the top pitching prospect for the Pirates, made his MLB debut on Thursday. Facing a potent Cardinals offense, he rolled through five innings but ended up being charged with four runs in 5 2/3, with two coming across on a homer after he came out. All in all, it was an impressive outing for the 22-year-old, who struck out five and walked two while allowing only two hits.


Glasnow was optioned to Triple-A following the outing, but should be back up soon.


* While Glasnow went down, along with Lucas Giolito of the Nationals, two other big-time prospects got called up in their steads. For the Pirates, it was first baseman Josh Bell, a disciplined hitter who offers intrigue in the average and OBP categories but is expected to return to Triple-A after the weekend. For the Nats, it was Trea Turner, who returns after an earlier short stint in Washington.


Turner fills the roster spot of Ryan Zimmerman, out with a rib cage strain, but it doesn't sound like he's looking at regular playing time with Mike Rizzo planning to use Clint Robinson at first rather than Daniel Murphy. If that changes, the speedy Turner needs to be added in many formats.


* Stephen Strasburg returned from the DL in style, making starts on Sunday and Friday and allowing a total of one run on two hits over 13 2/3 innings. He's showing no ill effects from the back problem that caused him to miss a couple of weeks.


* Following a short minor-league stint, Jose Reyes officially joined the Mets this week, making three starts at third and another at short. He homered in his third game on Thursday but we're expecting speed to be his bigger asset if he can get some green lights on the bases.


* The Red Sox acquired Aaron Hill from the Brewers in exchange for a pair of prospects. After down years in 2014 and 2015, the veteran infielder had appeared rejuvenated in Milwaukee this year, with a 780 OPS and eight homers in 78 games. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI in his first game for Boston on Friday.


In this loaded lineup, Hill could put up some solid numbers across the board, provided that he plays somewhat regularly. He is owned in less than 10 percent of Yahoo leagues.


* The Royals finally dropped Chris Young from their rotation. The righty had surrendered an astonishing 26 home runs in 60 innings. Either Brian Flynn or Dillon Gee will start Sunday in his place.


* These noteworthy DL moves rounded out an injury-filled week: Brandon Moss (foot) of the Carinals, Jameson Taillon (shoulder) of the Pirates, Trevor Plouffe (rib) of the Twins, Taijuan Walker (foot) of the Mariners, Matt Carpenter (oblique) for the Cardinals, Justin Bour (ankle) of the Marlins, Marco Estrada (back) of the Blue Jays, Daniel Norris (oblique) of the Tigers, Desmond Jennings (hamstring) of the Rays.

Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to NBC Sports Edge's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.