MLB: Three Immediate Impact Players Coming Off the DL in May | FOX Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Missing the first month of action in 2017 because of injuries, these three MLB players look to make an immediate impact for their respected ballclubs upon their return to action in May.
One of the biggest hindrances a team can face during a long MLB season is injuries. Injuries can lead to a slow start, halt a late run at the playoffs, or plague a team for the entire season. Injuries play a much more significant role when one of the team’s key players goes down.
Some teams suffered a setback from the injury bug early on in 2017. The New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels are just a few teams that are dealing with a crowded DL in April.
A change to the DL system in MLB from a 15-day DL to a 10-day DL has changed the approach teams have used with players and injuries. Call to the Pen contributor Bobby Mueller wrote about the increase in DL usage by teams this season with the new 10-day DL.
Although the great part about the MLB season is that an early-season injured player has a great shot to return before season’s end. In the case of the three players that made this list, they missed the month of April, but should return in May.
Here are the three players that should return from the DL soon. All three should make an immediate impact for their respected teams.
Next: Sonny Days Ahead for Oakland
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After suffering a muscle strain toward the end of the 2016 season, and a down season in general, the last thing the Oakland Athletics wanted to hear was that Sonny Gray would start the 2017 season on the DL.
Unfortunately for the A’s, that happened. Gray started 2017 on the DL due to a lat strain. The injury left Oakland with a young rotation and Kendall Graveman as the team’s No. 1 starter.
Graveman has stepped up for the club, despite a quick 10-day DL stint. He’s 2-1 and owns a 2.25 ERA in his four starts this season. Nevertheless, the A’s still miss their ace.
In four seasons with the Athletics, Gray is 38-31 with a 3.42 ERA, a 3.61 FIP, a 1.204 WHIP and 513 strikeouts. Gray’s best season came in 2015. Not only did Gray make his first All-Star game in 2015, he finished third in Cy Young voting with a 14-7 record, 2.73 ERA and 169 strikeouts.
Gray followed up his stellar 2015 campaign with a disappointing 2016 season. An injury-filled season led to a 5-11 with 5.69 ERA and just 94 strikeouts. Although, when healthy, Gray is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Although good news for the Athletics, Gray expects to return sometime next week. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser wrote about Gray’s excellent rehab starts in Nashville. She also wrote that Gray could start as soon as Tuesday.
In his two rehab starts for the Nashville Sounds, Gray’s pitched 11 innings, allowed zero runs on just three hits and zero walks with 11 strikeouts.
Next: The Rockies $70 Million Man
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In the offseason, the Colorado Rockies went out and signed free agent utility man and power hitter Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million deal with a team option in 2022.
The Rockies added depth to an already powerful lineup in Colorado. They planned to play Desmond at first base to start the 2017 season. However, in Spring Training, Desmond was hit by a pitch and suffered a fractured left hand.
Desmond started the season on the DL. Despite the loss of Desmond, the Rockies still own a record of 15-9. Imagine what the Rockies’ record might look like with Desmond mixed in.
The 31-year-old is a two-time All-Star and a three-time Silver Slugger winner. Last season with the Texas Rangers, Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs and 86 RBI. Desmond’s hit 132 homers and drove in 518 runs in his career.
Playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Coors Field should increase Desmond’s power numbers. Rockies’ fans can plan on seeing Desmond soon. Denver Post writer Nick Groke reported that Desmond is nearing a return to MLB action. He’ll play in a couple extended Spring Training games this weekend as part of a rehab assignment.
Expect the Rockies offense to improve with Desmond in the lineup. He’ll add more boom to an offense that ranks second in home runs, fourth in RBI and fourth in runs scored.
Next: Meet the Matz
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As mentioned in the first slide, the Mets have a jam-packed DL right now. Steven Matz is part of that astonishing list of injuries.
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Matz started the season on the DL after suffering a tendon strain in his left elbow. With all the injuries the Mets endured so far in 2017, there’s no surprise they sit in fourth place in the NL East.
A recent report by Newsday writer Marc Craig said that Matz is ready to start throwing off a mound again. Although Matz’s return has no timetable, with the way that Mets are playing, they’ll take any positive news.
In his 34 career games for the Mets, Matz owns a 3.16 ERA, a 13-8 record and 163 strikeouts. The Mets certainly could use him back in the rotation.
If the Mets don’t start winning games, it’ll be tough for them to compete with the Washington Nationals for the NL East.
Next: The Mets Go Eight Days Without a Lead
Although Matz won’t return until sometime in May, the return of a good player can boost a club and help them start winning games. The Mets need someone to step up for their club if they want to move up in the standings. Can Matz be that guy when he returns? Expect him to make an immediate impact when he’s back.
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Play Now! Missing the first month of action in 2017 because of injuries, these three MLB players look to make an immediate impact for their respected ballclubs upon their return to action in May.One of the biggest hindrances a team can face during a long MLBseason is injuries. Injuries can lead to a slow st…