This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.
The Rangers likely will navigate the remainder of the season without two of the big weapons in their pitching arsenal. Starter Kluber and closer Leclerc have both been placed on the 45-day injured list with strains to the teres major, a shoulder muscle located on the posterior aspect of the joint.
Let's first clarify that this is not an injury to the rotator cuff. The teres minor is a part of the cuff NOT the teres major. The teres major is situated over the shoulder aspect of the latissimus dorsi and anchors to the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). The orientation of the muscle allows it to be involved in multiple motions at the shoulder, including internal rotation, as well as movement of the shoulder blade itself. The teres major is also a stabilizer of the shoulder, making it crucial in fluid pitching mechanics.
The teres major is active during the late stages of the cocking phase as well as the acceleration phase and follow through. As a result, the muscle plays a significant role in generating pitch velocity. Any limitation would severely hamper a pitcher's effectiveness. Multiple pitchers, including Clayton Kershaw and Mike Clevinger, have dealt with the injury in season's past. Both Kershaw and Clevinger missed more than five weeks with their respective injuries, setting a discouraging precedent for the Rangers pitchers. Each injury was diagnosed as a Grade 2 strain, meaning the injury is classified as a