Ozzie Albies walks into a bar. Another guy turns to him and says “For the love of God, Ozzie. Please watch where you are going! This isn’t sustainable,” (I tried out a lot of different names in this article for this joke).
Last week on the first installment of 2023 Razzball Ambulance Chasers, we revisited 2022 in terms of cumulative injuries. This week, I will revisit some of the bigger injuries that occurred in 2022 and how players have progressed in the offseason.
If you have checked out Grey’s Razzball 2023 Fantasy Rankings (please tell me you have), you will notice some big shifts in the Top 20 from 2022 to 2023. Many of those shifts are injury related or, at the very least, have some subtle notes of injury. I have detailed the shifts here with some potential replacements for those players who have taken a tumble down the rankings.
Ronald Acuña Jr.
2022 Razzball Ranking: 7
2023 Razzball Ranking: 8
The year was 2021 and hopes were high for Acuña Jr. until his ACL kicked the bucket. He finished 2021 .283/.394/.596 with a .990 OPS. When Acuña Jr. returned in April 2022, his stats dropped a little from 2021, but his plate appearances also increased in 2022. Additionally, he lost a lot of hits to park performance factors in 2022. The outlook for Acuña Jr. is positive for 2023. May luck be on his side and his spirits continue to be high.
— Statfax (@statfax) January 25, 2023
2022 Razzball Ranking: 11
2023 Razzball Ranking: *scans list* Not in the Top 20.
Ozzie Albies was vying for 2022 Bad Luck of The Year. Sure, he is no Kevin Pillar. Albies only played in 64 games in 2022 because of a broken left foot followed by a broken pinky shortly after his return from the IL. As Dansby Swanson departed Atlanta, the Braves will likely need to rely on Albies at 2B (with Vaughn Grissom taking over at shortstop). While Albies’ performance is uncertain, it is important to remember that both of his injuries were fractures rather than muscle or connective tissue injuries, which theoretically should put folks considering picking up Albies at ease.
Ozzie Albies, looking for whoever made this list…
• Only 26 years old, averaging 4.0 WAR per 162 in his career.
• Two seasons of 75+ XBH.
• One of two 2B in baseball history with 40 2B, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 100 R, and 20 SB in a single season. https://t.co/5irPlI9wj6 pic.twitter.com/r2Tik6OXXZ
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) January 26, 2023
2022 Razzball Ranking: 13
2023 Razzball Ranking: Completely skipped town and headed to Sadsville.
Last year, Harper was in the upper echelons of the Razzball rankings. This year, Harper is spending half of the season on the IL after having Tommy John surgery in November 2022. Harper is expected to return during the All-Star Break. Until that time, there is speculation that Darrick Hall, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm will be part of the plan to try and cover Harper’s production. However, it will be difficult to know how well Hall, Hoskins, and/or Bohm fill that role until Spring Training comes.
2022 Razzball Ranking: 8
2023 Razzball Ranking: Whatever it is, it’s not the Top 20.
After coming off two pretty fantastic seasons, 2022 Luis Robert was like a shadow of his former self. To be fair, Luis Robert is free from The Tony La Russa Pt. 2 Era of the White Sox. Robert’s season was spiraling when in September 2022, he attempted to play with a sprained wrist he got while sliding into a base in August. Robert was also on the IL for COVID-19, blurred vision, and a groin injury. In 2021, he sustained a pretty serious hip flexor tear that kept him sidelined for a large amount of the season. Perhaps, recent White Sox staffing changes will work in Robert’s favor. Until then, take a look at some of the Razzball Top 20 Outfielders. Robert is still listed at 15, but as Grey points out, the distance between Kyle Schwarber (14) and Robert is great.
You can get a pre-season glimpse of Luis Robert when he plays in the World Baseball Classic for Cuba in March.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
2022 Razzball Ranking: 102
2023 Razzball Ranking: 20
Friends, I will be honest. My joke at the beginning of this post originally said Tatis, but if you look at my more recent posts, it is clear I am obsessed with the guy and his various antics. Now, I have never drafted him nor am I a Dads fan. So, it is probably easier for me to look upon Tatis’s exploits and injuries like I might have for this one kid I knew in college who once threw a pan of brownies and forks down the middle of a dorm stairwell. Why did he do it? Because he could.
I have digressed.
Anyway, I want this Top 20 thing to happen for Tatis and you all that draft him, but if the top 20 for him means he has to make smarter and better decisions (LAME), I feel conflicted.
Now I definitely know Fernando Tatis Jr. is cool (riding motorcycles, using drugs)
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) August 12, 2022
2022 Razzball Ranking: 14
2023 Razzball Ranking: Not in the Top 20.
There are still a lot of Mike Trout believers. In 2022, Trout had .283/.369/.630 slash lines. This was coming off a 2021 season where he only played 36 games. The fear about Trout continues to be around his ability to land on the IL, especially at crucial times. While Trout is still slugging away, he is projected to fall short of his past seasons. If that is the case and Trout has injuries, it’s gonna be a bad time. Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis, Michael Harris II, and Cedric Mullins are just a few outfielders ranked around Trout that might be overlooked if you get in a fishy situation (I’m sorry).
That’s it for this week, folks. Join me next week to discuss the latest updates on the injury hangovers from 2022 for pitchers.
I would love to know what players you have drafted in the past that you are avoiding because of injuries. Hit me up in the comments or at @keelin_12ft on Twitter.