A Few Big Names Are Starting The Season on the IL

As the season begins, names are already piling on to the IL.

Fans have been waiting for months to see their favorite players take the field.. and some fans are going to have to wait a bit longer. Here are a few of the notable names sitting out on Opening Night/Day:

Angels: Anthony Rendon

This one is a huge blow to the Angels, who shelled out a boatload of cash for Rendon during the offseason. Rendon has been dealing with a sore oblique since July 15, and isn’t officially listed on the IL, but he’ll be sitting out for at last a couple of games.

Braves: Cole Hamels

Braves manager Brian Snitker said “it’s going to be a while” before Hamels takes the mound for Atlanta this season. The left-hander signed with the Braves in December, has been dealing with inflammation in his pitching shoulder in January, and had a setback when triceps tendinitis sidelined him as training camp started this month.

Brewers: Brett Anderson, Ryan Braun

Braun has been sitting out of scrimmages thanks to some left oblique discomfort and might miss the opener on Friday. Thanks to a universal DH this season, he might be able to be in the lineup, but likely won’t be playing in the outfield. The Brewers will also be missing starting pitcher Brett Anderson when he was supposed to start on Saturday against the Cubs. Anderson is out for at least ten days with a blister on his pitching hand.

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw

Word broke just hours before the first pitch between the Dodgers/Giants tonight that the Dodgers 3-time Cy Young winning ace was hitting the injured list with back stiffness. Apparently, he tweaked his back on Tuesday and tried to tough it out to make the start tonight. The injury was backdated so that he can hopefully return by next Thursday.

Giants: Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria

The Giants are missing their first and third basemen for Opening night. Brandon Belt (first) has a sore right heel, and Evan Longoria has a right oblique strain. Both are on the 10 day injured list.

Mariners: Tom Murphy

Mariners catcher Tom Murphy broke a bone in his left foot after hitting a foul ball off of it on July 14. He’s starting the season on the IL, but the injury shouldn’t sideline him for long – good news for the M’s, since they don’t have much depth at catcher.

Mets: Marcus Stroman

The Mets’ number 2 starter (behind reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom) hit the injured list Wednesday with a muscle tear in his left calf. Steven Matz will now start Game 2 of the Mets’ season on Saturday. Also out for the Mets is reliever Robert Gsellman, who is battling right triceps tendinitis.

Orioles: John Means, Stevie Wilkerson

After almost winning Rookie of the Year in 2019, Means was supposed to be the O’s starter on Friday. Unfortunately, he’s been dealing with right arm fatigue and might not be able to see his first Opening Day start. Wilkerson sustained a fractured left ring finger during an exhibition game on Sunday against the Phillies and might have to sit out for the entire season.

Rockies: Peter Lambert, Scott Oberg

The young Rockies RHP was shut down during Spring Training with right forearm tightness. The long rest from March to July wasn’t enough, and Lambert had Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Another pitchers missing from the Rockies staff on Opening Day is Scott Oberg, who is out with a sore back. His stint on the IL was backdated to Monday, so there’s a chance he could see action as early as July 31.

Twins: Byron Buxton, Jake Odorizzi

Buxton, who seemingly can’t not get injured, sustained a left mid-foot strain and was carted off the field on July 13. He’s been able to start running a bit and took some BP yesterday, so he’s hopeful to play sometime during Opening Weekend. The Twins also placed their (likely) number-two starting pitcher Odorizzi on the 10-day IL this week thanks to some back soreness. The move was backdated to Monday, so he could come back as soon as July 30.


A few players are starting the season in quarantine, thanks to the coronavirus. Some players, along with eleven umpires, have opted out of the season altogether.

Opting out:

  • Welington Castillo, Nationals
  • Ian Desmond, Rockies
  • Felix Hernandez, Braves
  • Jordan Hicks, Cardinals
  • Mike Leake, Diamondbacks
  • Michael Kopech, White Sox
  • Nick Markakis, Braves
  • Collin McHugh, Red Sox
  • Hector Noesi, Pirates
  • Joe Ross, Nationals
  • Tyson Ross, free agent
  • Buster Posey, Giants
  • David Price, Dodgers
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

(Currently) Positive Cases

Not including those that have already recovered and rejoined their teams, a few teams are down a few guys thanks to the virus. Several teams have cases involving unidentified players. I’m not going to count/name/speculate who the unnamed players are due to privacy, but fans can probably figure out who is missing on the Opening Day rosters. Here are the teams that are currently missing players due to coronavirus:

  • As: LHP Jesus Luzardo
  • Braves: LHP Will Smith (asymptomatic)
  • Nationals: OF Juan Soto
  • Padres: IF Jorge Mateo
  • Pirates: OF Socrates Brito, RHP Blake Cederlind, OF Gregory Polanco
  • Rays: OF Austin Meadows
  • Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP Josh Taylor, LHP Dawinzon Hernandez
  • Reds: Derek Dietrich
  • Rockies: LHP Phillip Diehl and MiLB pitcher Ryan Castellani
  • Royals: OF Hunter Dozier, 1B Ryan O’Hearn, RHP Jakob Junis, RHP Brad Keller, C Cam Gallagher
  • Twins: INF/C Willians Astudillo, INF Nick Gordon, RHP Edwar Colina
  • Yankees: Closer Aroldis Chapman

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.