Top of the morning, Razzballifornians!

Roughly one year ago, a Razzball commenter got upset at me for talking about Max Scherzer driving a Porsche and being rich (where is the lie?). The smart thing to do would be to never bring it up again, but I never promised I was smart. So, I want to bring that image back to touch on how talking about economics and the Mets are topics to avoid at holiday family dinners.

Last week, I highlighted the Luis Castillo collision in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). It was pretty gnarly, but luckily, no one was injured. Unfortunately this week, Edwin Díaz (RP, NYM) tore his patellar tendon celebrating Puerto Rico’s 5-2 win against the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, Díaz needs surgery and is projected to be on the IL at least 8 months which is curtains for his season.


Díaz joined WBC Team Canada member Freddie Freeman (1B, LAD) on the IL. Freeman sustained what is being called a light hamstring injury after making a hit during a game against Colombia. Unlike Díaz, reports say Freeman should be healed up before or by Opening Day.

The fallout from both injuries has inspired conversations about the worthiness and purpose of the WBC with a special focus on players as commodities (this is the economics part), including a particularly deranged tweet from Keith Olbermann that I am not going to share. All I will say is that there is no need to bring the grandmothers into it.

As fantasy managers, we look at a set of numbers on paper and use those numbers to our advantage. As fans, those numbers are what differentiate the winners from the losers. Those injury numbers may occur during spring training, the WBC, getting bitten by your dog, getting cut by your drone or a tin can, and yes, celebrating. There are some things our numbers do not capture, and at the end of the day, shit happens.

- It happens. - What, shit?

Regardless of how you feel about the WBC and injuries sustained in the WBC, if you drafted either Freeman or Díaz (or, oh no, both?), you are in the position for a back-up plan (more about below in the injury list). If you’re a fan of either team it sucks all around. It sucks for the Mets who are now down five relievers and, of course, starter José Quintana.

Let’s look at this week’s damage!

Paul Blackburn (SP, OAK)

Blackburn sustained a fingernail avulsion. In non-doctor language that means his fingernail plumb fell or was torn off. Although it is a smaller injury, it is possible Blackburn will not be ready for Opening Day. Blackburn’s spring training performance has been rough. In his two spring training starts he had nine hits and eight runs in just a little over four innings.

The A’s have James Kaprielian, Shintaro Fujinami, Drew Rucinski, and JP Sears as other starters. All have projected ERAs over 4.07 with the exception of Sears (3.81) who has the least projected IP (98).

The choice to forgo these options is valid as well.

Cade Cavalli (SP, WSN)

Another week, and sadly, another prospect goes down with a need for Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old Cavalli was projected to be in the starting rotation for Washington this year, but he will not have his chance until 2024. Washington starters Joshiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore have also recently suffered from injuries.

Cavalli’s injury makes way for Chad Kuhl to start for the Nationals. Kuhl, a non-roster invitee to spring training, had a 5.72 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 137 IP in 2022.

Sam Coonrod (RP, NYM)

The Mets RP Coonrod is out with a high-grade strained lat. He could be out anywhere from one month or longer and could potentially need surgery. Coonrod’s injury preceded Díaz’s injury. David Robertson will continue to be in high demand for the Mets. Adam Ottavino, Brooks Raley, and Drew Smith will also be key relievers, but Raley is also on the IL with a strained hamstring. However, the Mets expect Raley to be ready for Opening Day.

Get ready to hear me repeat a lot of the same names over the remaining Mets entries.

JKJ is pro-Ottavino. In 2022, Ottavino had a 2.06 ERA and 0.975 WHIP in 65.2 IP.

As for the others in 2022, Robertson had a 2.40 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 63.2 IP. Raley had a 2.68 ERA and 0.96 WHIP across 53.2 IP. Smith had a 3.33 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP in 46 IP.

So, the Mets are not going to explode (yet) even though they are down bad. And of course, they could always pick up a free agent. Perhaps that free agent is Zack Britton.


Brandon Crawford (SS, SFG)

The 36-year-old Crawford is down and out with knee discomfort after a rough spring training. Gabe Kepler mentioned they were focused on having Crawford ready for Opening Day, but the timetable for recovery is still uncertain. The Giants have Thairo Estrada, who is currently the 2B starter, that could step in as shortstop if Crawford is not able to recover fully by Opening Day and/or is inevitably injured again during the season.

When the inevitable situation above occurs, Wilmer Flores is a valuable utility piece. Flores is the Giants back-up for 1B and 2B. He is also the secondary back-up for 3B.

Here are some 2022 stats to compare Crawford, Estrada, and Flores:

Player 2022 BA 2022 OBP 2022 SLG 2022 WAR 2022 AB
Crawford .231 .308 .344 0.5 407
Estrada .260 .322 .400 1.6 488
Flores .229 .316 .394 0.7 525

It’s important to note that Estrada and Flores are projected to regress a little this year.

Paul DeJong (SS, STL)

DeJong is out with back tightness that prevents him from fielding properly, but the injury does not appear serious. 2022 was a rough season for DeJong, who was demoted to Triple-A. DeJong is the backup shortstop for the Cardinals and was playing in place of Tommy Edman who is participating in the WBC for the South Korean.

DeJong’s loss is prospect Masyn Winn’s gain. Winn has been starting in DeJong’s place. Winn has been one of the top hitters in the Grapefruit League, which is quite frankly insane. If he is still available in your dynasty leagues, get him. Winning is literally in his name.

Anyway, Edman will be back, and DeJong will probably be fine. The real story here is Winn.

Edwin Díaz (RP, NYM)

A damn shame. I mostly covered this above in the main and Coonrod entries.

Freddie Freeman (1B, LAD)

I also covered Freeman above. The Dodgers have Miguel Vargas, Max Muncy, and Miguel Rojas to cover 1B if Freman should go down. Luckily, it looks like you will not have to worry about this yet.

Lucas Gilbreath (RP, COL)

More tough news for Colorado: Gilbreath’s 2023 season is over before it started. It was confirmed that Gilbreath will (and probably has at this point, but I have not seen confirmation yet) undergo Tommy John surgery.

The Rockies signed Brad Hand and also have Brent Suter as other LHP options and both fine options if you had a hankering for Gilbreath.

Luis González (OF and occasional RP, SFG)

Ouch! González is out to have surgery for a herniated disc. Clearly, he will not be back any time soon with four months being the current timeline. The Giants still have Joc Pederson, Michael Conforto, and Mike Yastrzemski in the OF. So, there is no immediate issue here yet. However, “yet” is a ticket time bomb.

Enter Austin Slater. OF Slater has experienced some injury issues of his own with elbow neuritis. Luckily, his elbow is structurally fine. Slater is best against LHPs, but he has recently improved against RHPs, despite this incredible comparison from Jeff Zimmerman in 2021.

Jordan Groshans (1B sort of, MIA)

Prospect Groshans has, so far, made the cut for the Marlins. However, he is now dealing with some shoulder soreness after diving during play.

Groshans has played 3B in the past, but he has been learning how to play 1B with the Marlins. However, the Marlins have signed Yuli Gurriel recently which could impact Groshans’s chances on the roster.

Corbin Martin (RP, ARI)

The Diamondbacks are in a tough spot with both Corbin Martin and Mark Melancon dealing with right shoulder issues.

RHP Martin has a history of struggles. He had Tommy John surgery in 2019. In 2022, Martin had a 4.84 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 22.1 IP. So there is a little mystery but enough writing on the wall there. The projected bullpen without Martin is Kevin Ginkel, Andrew Chafin, Miguel Castro, Scott McGough, Joe Mantiply, Kyle Nelson, Cole Sulser, and perhaps Jeurys Familia. All but Familia and Nelson have a projected ERA under 4 and similar amounts of experience in terms of IP. Ginkel, Chafin, and Castro have the most projected saves with 10, 7, and 6 respectively.

Andrew McCutchen (OF, PIT)

McCutchen has returned to the Pirates at the age of 36. Although he has been coy on when he will retire, one would imagine retirement is not too far off. He is currently dealing with minor (“very minor”) elbow soreness. This should be a non-issue.

Mark Melancon (RP, ARI)

Back with the Diamondbacks! I mentioned above that Mark Melancon is injured. Melancon is expected to miss months with his shoulder strain. I mentioned some potential replacements above in the Corbin Martin entry. Tough loss for the D-backs.

Bryce Montes de Oca (RP, NYM)

Another Met down. Montes de Oca had a stress reaction of the right elbow. There is no serious damage to his ligament which is good because he is the Met’s only left-handed reliever. It is uncertain if Montes de Oca will be ready for Opening Day. Again, this could put the Mets in the spot to seek outside help

Adrián Morejón (SP, SDP)

Morejón is out with elbow discomfort of an uncertain origin and seriousness (at the time of publication). He had Tommy John surgery in 2021 and returned for 34 IP in 2022. The Padres are experiencing some potential depth issues with their starters and injuries. As I mentioned previously, Brent Honeywell Jr., Jay Groome, Ryan Weather, Reiss Knehr, Julio Teheran, and Pedro Avila are still in the mix.

Nick Nelson (RP, PHI)

The RP for the Phillies is out with a strained hamstring.

This means an opportunity for Yunior Marte, Luis Ortiz, and Andrew Vasquez to get time in the bullpen with Marte being the favorite. Marte’s time in the majors last season (with SFG) resulted in a 5.44 ERA and 1.43 in 48 IP. In spring training, he has struck out five and walked one in five innings and allowed one run.

There have been control issues cited about Marte, but he is projected to improve his FIP from 5.44 in 2022 to the mid-to-low 4s in 2023

Manny Piña (C, OAK)

The 35-year-old catcher is out with wrist discomfort and is not expected to be ready for Opening Day. Piña just returned from calf soreness. Yohel Pozo, the primary backup, and Kyle McCann are both options to take Piña’s spot but both have limited experience in catching in the majors.

I think that’s all there is to say about that.

Brooks Raley (RP, NYM)

Another Mets entry. I talked a little about Brooks Raley above. He sustained a strained hamstring but is expected to make a chance to return for Opening Day or not long after. His stock has gone up as other Mets have dropped left and right.

Cristopher Sánchez (RP, PHI)

Another injury for the Phillies bullpen. RP Sánchez is experiencing triceps soreness with an undetermined timeline for return. His fastball speed had dropped significantly from his 2022 average which caused the Phillies to shut him down. With Nelson and Sánchez out, the case for Yunior Marte amplifies.

Half of the Phillies pitching staff is on the IL.

Carlos Santana (1B, PIT)

I bet you want me to make a joke, but I won’t do it. Carlos Santana joined the IL with knee discomfort after slipping in the infield while attempting to make a catch. While Santana is being evaluated, there are a few scenarios. If the injury is not serious, he should be ready for Opening Day. He is 36. So, regardless of when he returns, you can skip him or have a backup (maybe he is your backup).

Kodai Senga (SP, NYM)

Senga has been out with right index finger discomfort chalked up to tendinitis, but he has returned. In his first appearance back, Senga allowed one run in 3 IP. Senga is coming off not only an injury but a rough performance where he mentioned the pitch clock factored into his numbers.

Noah Song (SP, BOS)

Song has been shut down with back tightness. At publication time, the only update was that Song was having an MRI and will be reevaluated. The Rex Sox have Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, James Paxton, and now Josh Winckowski as their starters.

Garrett Stubbs (C, PHI)

Another Phil! Stubbs caught a sprained knee playing for Israel in the WBC but has said that he expects to be ready for Opening Day and hopefully inspired by his WBC performance.

Jose Trevino (C, NYY)

The Yankee catcher Trevino has been resting a sprained wrist, but he is swinging again and is expected to return next week. It seems like a very welcomed break (or not, waka waka) for the Yankees.

Luke Weaver (SP, CIN)

Weaver, a starter for the Reds, is out with the scary right forearm discomfort during his first outing with the Reds. The injury has been called minor, but he will still be out of action for days if not more. Weaver was expected to be on the Reds starting roster joining Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, and Luis Cessa. Connor Overton, and Justin Dunn are other pitchers who might get a shot while Weaver is down.

Folks, that’s all for Razzball Ambulance Chasers this week. Hopefully, next week I will have far less to write about!

Did injuries mix up your drafts this week? Did you pick any players that are currently on the IL for a deal? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter: @keelin_12ft.