Attention all, Razzkinder,
Pull your cars aside to let the ambulance through.
In this edition of Ambulance Chasers, let’s talk Trevor Bauer and relief pitchers.
Why are you talking about Trevor Bauer in Ambulance Chasers?
Do I want to talk about Trevor Bauer? Not really. Regardless of my personal feelings, it is important to talk about before you draft.
I will file the ensuing conversation under “Moral Injury”.
Okay, what is up with Trevor Bauer then?
This week, it was announced that Trevor Bauer, who admitted to punching women and threatened another, would not face criminal charges in the LA court system. The MLB is continuing to investigate Bauer.
Trevor Bauer will not face any criminal charges in the LA court system, sources tell The Athletic. Bauer's active investigation by MLB remains open.
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) February 8, 2022
Recently, Marcell Ozuna was given a 20 game retroactive suspension after his felony charges were dropped. The MLB might treat Trevor Bauer with a similar non-punishment punishment.
However, bringing Marcell Ozuna and Trevor Bauer into the same conversation highlights an important point: Trevor Bauer is not the only abuser in the MLB. Apply whatever decisions you make with Trevor Bauer to other known abusers. Grey echoed similar thoughts, with slightly more generosity than me, in the Top 80 Starters for 2022 Baseball.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some sort of partner violence. Partner violence has likely affected a member of your fantasy baseball league. Stay respectful and safe.
What is the outlook for relief pitchers, pitching injuries, and beyond in 2022?
In the last edition of Ambulance Chasers, I shared why starting and relief pitchers (RPs) have and might continue to experience increased instances and severity of injury: downtime from COVID-19, more focus on velocity in pitching, regulations against sticky substances, and the generally increasing athletic abilities and size of pitchers.
Who should I be on the lookout for in 2022?
According to Sportrac, 270 relief pitchers spent a total of 18,259 days on the IL in 2021. The top three reasons for a stay on the IL, besides COVID-related illness, were Tommy John surgery (27), shoulder inflammation (20), and strained oblique (17).
My Ambulance Chasers predecessor JKJ covered some notable RP injuries in SAGNOF: The Rankings. The list included Tejay Antone (likely out with Tommy John surgery), Ken Giles (Tommy John surgery rehab), Nick Anderson (elbow surgery rehab), Jose Leclerc (Tommy John rehab), Kirby Yates (Tommy John rehab), and Drew Pomeranz (recurring forearm injury).
Pitchers that had the most visits to the IL (excluding COVID-related visits) include Collin McHugh (arm fatigue, strained lower back, undisclosed), Connor Brogdon (strained groin, elbow tendinitis, strained groin), Drew Pomeranz (forearm inflammation, torn flexor tendon, and shoulder impingement), Jimmy Nelson (forearm inflammation, elbow inflammation, and strained lumbar), Michael Feliz (cracked nail, elbow discomfort, undisclosed), Tejay Antone (forearm inflammation, strained forearm, Tommy John Surgery), and Zack Britton (arthroscopic elbow surgery, strained hamstring, Tommy John surgery).
As always, use your best judgment when looking at drafting RPs. If you notice pitchers have more than a few visits to the IL for forearm issues, be vigilant and prepare for a backup plan. Finally, visit the Razzball Player Rater and type in or sort by “RP” to check out your options.
Share your thoughts about RPs and Trevor Bauer with me in the comments or via Twitter: @keelin_12ft