Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Razzbrethren.

*whispers* In this edition of “Ambulance Chasers”, I am pretending like spring training was not officially delayed to start no earlier than March 5. Now, enjoy this content about outfielders and injuries.*ends whisper*

What is the updated outlook for COVID-19 for MLB players?

Do you like good news? Here is some good news: COVID-19 cases have dropped 64%  (with asterisks) in the U.S. over the past two weeks. A few weeks ago, I discussed how the NFL had been ravaged by the omicron variant and what that might look like for the MLB. COVID-19 is one less severe issue that baseball players have to worry as much about for now.

Unfortunately, now I have to bring you back down: the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting the next variant will be more contagious than omicron. When will that next variant arrive, how deadly will it be, and how much will it affect the MLB season? These are outstanding questions, and it is really too depressing to think about right now.

What should I know about outfield injuries before my fantasy baseball draft?

Not to sound like a weirdo, but outfield injuries are fascinating. Horrible, of course, but fascinating. The way injuries occur are often at high speed and against some interesting “opponents”: a player’s own teammates, themselves, and/or the wall.

For example, Eloy Jimenez was out for four months to rehab a ripped pectoral. How did he rip his pectoral muscle? By jumping and reaching over the fence to make a catch.

These types of miscalculations and freak incidences that result in the need for surgical intervention are not as common as hamstring injuries. I discussed this issue in Ambulance Chasers: Hamstrings Pull Heartstrings. In 2021, there were a  48 instances of hamstring strains for outfielders. The next most frequently occurring injuries were oblique strains (12), and, concussions (12). Almost 71% of all concussions in the 2021 season occurred in outfielders (or INF/OF and a single 1B/OF).

Outfielders that experienced many instances of injuries include Adam Engel, Alex Dickerson, Billy Hamilton, Christian Arroyo, Cody Bellinger, Derek Hill, George Springer, Jason Heyward, Kole Calhoun, Luis Arraez, Niko Goodrum, and Rob Refsnyder.

Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Willie Calhoun, and Kole Calhoun, spent extensive time on the IL because of injuries and ensuing surgical procedures in 2021. All of the aforementioned player are included on Grey’s various 2022 lists including the Top 100 Outfielders for 2022 Fantasy Baseball.

When deciding on outfielders, ensure you consider your player’s history of spatial awareness and experience along with their injury history. Does a player run into the fence or wall with abandon? Does the player have a history of collision? While it is not a deal breaker by any means, these acts can increase injury. A willingness and maturity to learn and change is important.

Did outfield injuries screw you over in the past?

Share your experience with me in the comments or on Twitter: @keelin_12ft.

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4 months ago

Thanks for the read! Good points! Quality OFers seem to get fewer and fewer every year. Where did they go? COVID-19 … Will it ever go away?? I tend to shy away from injury risks like Bellinger,Springer but would take a shot with Trout. It will be interesting to see how a short ST will affect injuries. I say there will be more.

4 months ago

2021 was the first year I have EVER been able to draft Trout because he fell from the top spot (also had A Mondesi). My year was derailed after their injuries, yet I was able to cobble together a 4th place finish. I also had Vlad Jr, Tim Anderson, Machado, B Lowe and Wheeler, but just couldn’t put the pieces together with the rest of my team.

I just want to watch some MLB this season. Aside from COVID, the CBA arguments have put me (and many fans I know) further away from MLB at a time when the game can’t afford to lose more fans.

I hope they can play close to a full season, but I also hope to see a healthy game (on and off the field). Personally, I think baseball is just the kind of summertime light and fun game that the world (or the USA, at least) needs right now.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
4 months ago

Somewhere in an alternate universe, baseball is played injury free and covid is not a word in their vocabulary.

Injuries unfortunately have become a big part of our game. The last few seasons my teams have been out of control with getting hurt, but so has the rest of the league.

Injuries suck, especially to the star players, really missed seeing Trout and others play last year. Wish I never heard of TJS. But I’d have to live in an alternate universe.