Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was diagnosed with a sprained right thumb in early July and had to be placed on the disabled list.
Early projections, by the the Cleveland Plain Dealer at least, suggested that he could miss a total of two months. Thankfully they were way off.
Choo took 50 swings of batting practice on Sunday, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, and he is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Monday. If all goes well, he should move on to Triple-A Columbus by the middle of next week and could be with the Tribe by next weekend.
Choo, 28, was batting .286/.390/.475 with 13 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 43 RBI in 301 at-bats when he was placed on the disabled list on July 4. Though the Indians are already out of the running in the American League Central, Choo’s spark near the heart of the lineup should help the club maintain a level of respectability through the second half.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.