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MLB Tuesday review: Injuries make headlines before break

We're officially less than a week away from this season's Midsummer Classic, and a few surprising storylines have developed that fans should keep an eye on. 

With tight races in just about every division, it's important for teams to carry momentum heading into (and out of) the All-Star break. 

Here are three stories that you need to know about today. 

Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout injuries deflates Los Angeles

After struggling in 2022, the Los Angeles Angels had seemingly turned a corner in 2023. The Angels boast a solid roster led by two of the best players in the game – Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani – helping them to a 45-43 record, good enough to put them in the hunt for the AL West crown. 

However, this week brought devastating news to Angels fans: future Hall-of-Famer Trout suffered a hamate bone fracture in his hand during an at-bat against the San Diego Padres. The injury will likely require surgery plus a 3-7 week recovery, and the Angels will probably play it safe with the superstar. 

If that wasn't bad enough for the Angels, AL MVP frontrunner Ohtani suffered an injury of his own. The two-way superstar was forced out of his start on Tuesday after struggling with recurring problems in his hand, primarily due to blistering and nail issues. 

It is unknown how long Ohtani will be on the shelf, but he'll likely return before Trout does. 

Still, going without the dynamic SP/DH is going to leave a major hole in Los Angeles' roster as they try to climb up the AL West standings. Combined with the loss of Trout, these injuries will likely have lasting repercussions on the Angels' season as a whole. 

Tarik Skubal shines for Tigers in return

On the other side of injury news is the Detroit Tigers. After missing nearly an entire calendar year due to flexor tendon surgery, Tarik Skubal finally finished his recovery and minor league rehab assignments before taking the mound on Tuesday. 

Before succumbing to injury, the former ninth-round pick was Detroit's best and most consistent starting pitcher: in 2022, he posted a 3.52 ERA and 1.15 WHIP to pair with a 7-8 record over 117.2 innings pitched, striking out 117 batters in that time. 

While he missed over 11 months due to his surgery, the time off seems to have served Skubal well. All of his pitches were sharp: his fastball was up to an average of over 96 MPH, and he topped out at 98.4. He also was able to generate a considerably increased amount of horizontal break on his slider – his out pitch – throughout the start, something he claims to have focused on during his rehab assignments. 

In all, Skubal managed to throw four clean innings, giving up zero hits, walks or earned runs and striking out six in his return to the big leagues. He only allowed a single runner, Brent Rooker, who reached on a hit-by-pitch. 

Obviously, Skubal isn't going to perform that well in every start, and the adrenaline likely played a role in his improved fastball velocity. Moreover, he's going to need some time to continue to ramp up his workload, as four inning starts put a lot of stress on the Tigers' bullpen. 

Still, if Skubal can improve upon his 2022 performance in any way, he can develop into a bona fide ace for a surging Detroit club. The Tigers currently sit in third place in the AL Central, five and a half games back from the first-place Minnesota Twins. 

Despite being ten games under .500 (37-47), the Tigers are squarely in the hunt for the division crown. With other top performers including Riley Greene, Eduardo Rodriguez, Alex Faedo, Akil Baddoo, Casey Mize and Spencer Turnbull each nearing their own return from injury, the Tigers' roster may look completely different come September. 

If these players can return to form as well as Skubal seemingly has, the Tigers have a chance to make up some considerable ground in the AL Central and stake a claim for a playoff run. 

All-Star Reserves, Pitchers, Injury Replacements Announced

The complete MLB All-Star rosters have been officially announced, and, since a few of the players on the roster will be unable to participate due to injury, a handful of injury replacements have been unveiled as well. 

Here are the complete reserves and pitching staffs for both All-Star teams, including both injured players and their replacements.

American League

Felix Bautista, RP BAL 
Yennier Cano, RP BAL 
Luis Castillo, SP SEA 
Emmanuel Clase, RP CLE 
Gerritt Cole, SP NYY 
Nathan Eovaldi, SP TEX 
Kevin Gausmann, SP TOR 
Sonny Gray, SP MIN 
Kenley Jansen, RP BOS 
Michael Lorenzen, SP DET 
Shane McClanahan, SP TB 
Shohei Ohtani, SP LAA 
Framber Valdez, SP HOU

Salvador Perez, C KC 
Adley Rutschman, C BAL 
Bo Bichette, SS TOR 
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B TOR 
Whit Merrifield, 2B TOR 
Jose Ramirez, 3B CLE 
Yordan Alvarez, OF HOU 
Adolis Garcia, OF TEX 
Austin Hayes, OF BAL 
Luis Robert Jr., OF CHW 
Brent Rooker, DH OAK 
Kyle Tucker, OF HOU 
Wander Franco, SS TB

National League

Alexis Diaz, RP CIN 
Camilo Doval, RP SF 
Bryce Elder, SP ATL 
Zac Gallen, SP ARI 
Josiah Gray, SP WAS 
Josh Hader, RP SD 
Mitch Keller, SP PIT 
Clayton Kershaw, SP LAD 
Justin Steele, SP CHC 
Spencer Strider, SP ATL 
Marcus Stroman, SP CHC 
Devin Williams, RP MIL 
David Bednar, RP PIT

Elias Diaz, C COL 
Will Smith, C LAD 
Ozzie Albies, 2B ATL 
Pete Alonso, 1B NYM 
Matt Olson, 1B ATL 
Austin Riley, 3B ATL 
Dansby Swanson, SS CHC 
Nick Castellanos, OF PHI 
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF ARI 
Juan Soto, OF SD 
Jorge Soler, DH MIA

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