Now that the calendar officially says Spring has begun, Spring Training injuries start to get more and more important. Injuries early in camp have time to heal and players still have time to catch up, injuries occurring now can linger into the regular season and rehab can eat into a player’s important playing time leading up to Opening Day. Here’s a look at some of the biggest injury news of the week:
The Los Angeles Dodgers – The Los Angeles Dodgers are having a rough Spring with injuries to seemingly everyone on their roster. New manager Dave Roberts was thinking about endearing himself to fans of Sabermetrics nationwide by having Andre Ethier as his leadoff hitter. Ethier was expected to play a huge role on this year’s Dodgers team, especially against right handed starters. Instead, he’s out 10-14 weeks with a fractured right tibia. Only an hour after essentially being named the team’s fifth starter, Mike Bolsinger was scratched from his Spring start with abdominal tightness. A few days later, he was diagnosed with a sprained right oblique and it was confirmed that he would start the season on the disabled list. Finally, catcher Yasmani Grandal has been feeling discomfort in his arm for a few days and will undergo further testing. Roberts called Grandal’s lingering injury “disconcerting” and he may be facing an extended injury as well. Phenom Corey Seager is also hurt, dealing with a sprained knee, but he and Dodgers both expect him to be ready for the first game of the season. See Dr. Selene Parekh’s take on the Andre Ethier injury in the #QuickBoard video below:
Jon Gray – Colorado Rockies promising young starter Jon Gray left his start with abdominal tightness and will undergo further testing. He made a bad throw to second base on a grounder and apparently felt something while throwing. He will likely need to be shut down for a while and the odds are looking like he won’t be ready for Opening Day.
Jimmy Paredes – Paredes was cleared for baseball activities two weeks ago after recovering from a wrist injury he suffered early in Spring Training. The recovery did not go as planned, as he suffered a setback this week while taking swings and will now be shut down for a while. His availability for Opening Day is very much in jeopardy.
Daniel Norris – Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris missed his start earlier this week due to lower back stiffness and was then forced to exit his next appearance early due to the same nagging pain. He was sent for tests, and they will hopefully reveal nothing major in Norris’ back. Either way, he’ll likely be shut down for a while and given time to heal.
Carson Smith – Red Sox reliever Carson Smith was expected to serve as a late inning power arm to help deliver a lead to closer Craig Kimbrel. Instead, the Red Sox have no idea when he will pitch again. He is expected to be able to return sometime this season, but there is currently no timetable for his recovery. An MRI revealed that Smith has a strained flexor muscle. He will start the season on the disabled list, of course, and it may be a while until he is cleared to throw again.
Rymer Liriano – Brewers outfielder Rymer Liriano suffered the scariest injury of the year so far, as he left a game on a stretcher after being hit near the left eye by a pitch. He suffered multiple facial fractures and is of course facing a long absence. He was discharged from the hospital this week and was reportedly in good spirits when he visited his teammates, so while the injury was certainly scary, it seems like Liriano ultimately escaped without any long term injuries.
Sean Doolittle – A’s closer Sean Doolittle was diagnosed with a triceps strain in his throwing arm. He threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session two days later, so it seems like the injury is a minor one and Doolittle should still be on track to be ready for Opening Day.
Brad Boxberger – The big closer news of the week was the injury to Rays closer Brad Boxberger. He underwent core muscle surgery and will be out of commission for about eight weeks. Even after those eight weeks, he will be brought along slowly and is unlikely to pitch back-to-back games upon his return.