Greetings and salutations, Razzball community!
Love is in the air as pitchers and catchers get to work next week on the consumer hearts and candy holiday. It won’t just be steamy because of the holiday (ah-woo-gah!). We will also begin to learn a little more about how spicy some of those end-of-season and lingering injuries really were.
Let’s dip our toes in the sweet Injury River now.
The most recently injury-affected players we have seen added are Brandon Marsh (knee) and Corey Seager (sports hernia) as preseason additions to the IL. While Marsh is expected to be ready for Opening Day, Seager is questionable. Dr. Google shares a minimum 6-12 week recovery period for sports hernia surgery. In a somewhat similar comparison, Randal Grichuk had bilateral sports hernia surgery in February 2023 and did not debut until April 29. Seager’s sports hernia is on his left side.
Seager is currently #74 overall on the Steamer/Razzball projections and the #19 shortstop. Before, the surgery was announced, was the #32 overall player and #4 shortstop.
"There is still a good degree of confidence that [Corey] Seager should be ready for Opening Day."@jonmorosi has the latest on the World Series MVP undergoing surgery and the expected timeframe for his return. #MLBNHotStove pic.twitter.com/vwOXTe3dDG
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 31, 2024
Are you sweating yet?
Don’t worry, Billy Eppler will take the heat for you!
Every baseball season, there are players that go on the IL list because of an “injury”. We have all seen it. Sometimes the injury timelines do not add up. Sometimes not enough information is given about the injury. Sometimes it is just obvious the player was getting sloppy or played several games in a row. We have all sort of just accepted it as part of the game (even though it does occasionally goof up rosters).
If I really want to get post-modernist, what even IS an injury? It seemed like, in the MLB, no one really cared to delve too much into these murky philosophical questions that the rest of us ponder in dark corners of radicalized coffee houses in our free time.
Well, someone started caring about the Phantom IL in the case of ex-Mets GM Billy Eppler. Back in October, Eppler resigned after being investigated for “improper uses of the injury list”. Yesterday, it was announced Eppler is suspended for the entire 2024 season. That’s right: Unemployed Eppler.
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 9, 2024
Thus far, the MLB and Mets seemed to have wiped their hands and closed the case without further comment. Yet, there seems to be no further investigation into the matter at the league-wide level. Hmmm.
There are many outstanding questions here. Allow me to put on my tin foil hat.
How would Eppler be the only one “in” on this (he wasn’t)? What players were involved in the investigation? Who all really wanted to send a big “eff you!” to Eppler? What will these mean for other teams- if not continued MLB involvement as some sort of retaliation method?
Even if there were or are no obvious or intended implications outside of the Mets-o-sphere, there could be some very interesting implications surrounding the Phantom IL moving forward. You can expect me to be unhinged on this topic for the rest of the season.
Talk To Me
As we get ready for spring training and the regular season, please give me a shout out in the comments with any requests for articles (content, formatting, stats, etc.) you would find useful or like to see in your 2024 Ambulance Chasers coverage. One example of a suggestion I will accommodate this season is to include intradivision alternatives to injured players (where appropriate and available).
Join me over the next few weeks as we continue spring training updates and divisional injury previews for the AL West, NL West, and NL Central.
Have a great weekend!