Greetings and salutations, RazzBallers!

Spring training is only one week away, but the ambulance has already left and returned to the station with a few bodies in tow. That was quick! The good news is that hopefully, these early injuries saved you some pain in your drafts.

 Brayan Bello

Brayan Bello, the rising Red Sox starting pitcher, is currently shut down with forearm soreness.

2022 was a tough year for the Red Sox pitching staff (notably Chris Sale’s multiple injuries which culminated in a broken wrist from a bike wreck). Although Sale is returning healthy (so far), Bello’s injury may make Red Sox fan’s have flashbacks. Bello made his major league debut last year and struggled before finishing out his last six starts of the season with a 2.59 ERA and 31 strikeouts.

Forearm soreness is an ambiguous phrase used for something that is as simple as soreness or the early symptom of something as serious as a UCL tear. Hopefully, for Bello and Red Sox fans, there will not be Tommy John surgery in the 2023 mix. For those who are looking at drafting Bello or have him on a dynasty league, look for a dip in velocity once/if Bello starts pitching again.

If you are looking for a back up plan, Edward Cabrera and Roansy Contreras, 2022 3.01 and 3.79 ERA respectively, are similar options if Bello was part of your 2023 fantasy plans.

Nestor Cortes

Cortes is suffering from a strained left hamstring he sustained while sprinting during training in early February. The injury will keep him from participating in the World Baseball Classic. However, Cortes should be ready to pitch by Opening Day and has already been able to throw in the bullpen again.

Cortes and Frankie Montas (more on that one below) are both currently injured and key components to the Yankees pitching depth. Cortes had a breakout year in 2022 and finished the season with a 2.44 ERA in 158 innings pitched.

Jacob deGrom

*sigh* Not being surprised is sad and exhausting. Did deGrom open the Ark of the Covenant? His face has not melted off, but he is experiencing left side tightness as he begins his new era as a Texas Ranger. While deGrom tried to downplay the injury, it is difficult to feel positive about his trajectory for 2023. Since 2020, deGrom falls into the “regularly injured category”, plagued by back, elbow, arm, and shoulder injuries.

Bruce Bochy went on the record to say he did not see this as a serious issue and felt deGrom would be back in action soon. Despite the optimism, I am too spooked by deGrom, but I would love not to be one day.

Daniel Hudson

Daniel Hudson, who has been recovering from an ACL tear since summer 2022, returned for spring training only to be welcomed by right ankle tendinitis.

Hudson is one of the Dodger’s and league’s best relief pitchers. He had a 30.9 percent strikeout rate in 2022 and was in the 92nd percentile in fastball velocity and 88th percentile fastball spin.

Potential alternatives to Hudson for your roster might be his teammate Alex Vesia and Braves pitcher Dylan Lee.

Clayton Kershaw

While Kershaw is not technically injured (yet) the fact that he withdrew from the World Baseball Classic roster because of insurance coverage and his history of back issues. What a special moment in the history of American healthcare and the insurance industry.

I am not a fortune teller and no semi-knowledgeable baseball fan can trust the current-state Kershaw, but as a Magic 8-ball might say “Outlook uncertain.”

German Márquez

Rockies RHP Márquez was also supposed to participate in the World Baseball Classic and represent Venezuela. Unfortunately, he injured his left hamstring during conditioning drills with the Rockies. Márquez’s injury does not appear to be serious, and he should be back in the mix, maybe even in time for the second round of WBC games. Márquez finished 2022 with a 4.95 ERA, which reflects a slow start but solid finish.

Frankie Montas

Montas’s ongoing shoulder problems, spanning back to last summer when he was still with the A’s, have culminated in a need for arthroscopic shoulder surgery. This means Montas will likely be out until later in the season unless the surgery uncovers a more serious injury, which might require Montas to miss the entire season. Yikes!

Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt are potential Montas replacements. Germán and Schmidt finished the 2022 season with ERAs of 3.61 and 3.12 respectively.

Nick Pivetta

Brayan Bello isn’t the only Red Sox pitcher that is having a tough early season. Starting pitcher Nick Pivetta was a reliable starter during an injury-plauged season for the Red Sox. Alex Cora reported Pivetta recently had COVID and was still recovering and “building back”. Pivetta will most likely be back for Opening Day, but he may be a little slow.

In 2022, Pivetta led the Red Sox in games started and innings pitched. He finished the season with a 4. 56 ERA.

Mike Soroka

Soroka, who has not played a lot of baseball since he ruptured his achilles tendon in 2020, finally returned to play only to experience hamstring tightness. Soroka has not thrown more than 25.2 innings since 2019. Fortunately, hamstring tightness is not as serious as Sororka’s previous injuries, and he is currently expected to return to the line-up.

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg has been recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome since 2022 and recently suffered a setback in his rehabilitation. The details about the setback are unclear, but there is no clear timetable for his return.

Strasburg has only pitched in 8 MLB games since the beginning of the 2020 season, and it looks like that number may stay the same into 2023.

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Are there any injuries so far that have surprised you? Do you see any incoming injuries? Share with me in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @keelin_12ft.