Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Injuries: Part of Spring Training

With warm weather and fan filled bleachers always brings minor injuries. The 2012 MLB Spring Training has been no different. Almost every team across the American and National League has shown everything from a tight calf muscle to a torn ACL, shutting down players for the season before it could even begin. Some of the latest and more problematic injuries to plague a team come from World Series contenders and AL Champions the Texas Rangers. Star catcher Mike Napoli has been shut down for the last three outings due to groin stiffness. If you think a groin strain is no biggie, think again. Simple tasks such as getting out of bed, walking down your front steps, or getting into your car all use the groin muscle; Imagine squatting behind home plate for a few hours, frequently leaping upward to make one of baseball’s most athletic moves by throwing a thief out at second. Napoli, seeing Opening Day three weeks away, has decided there is no reason to rush getting back out there. If a groin injury isn’t properly healed it can take even longer the second time around.

Mike isn’t the only Ranger taking a knee. Star second baseman Ian Kinsler joined the catcher on the bench. Ian is reporting back stiffness. He suggests there is no reason for concern and is shutting down just to be safe. The injury was said to come from Friday’s game in which Kinsler made an awkward pivot during a double play.

Let’s switch leagues and head back east to the New York Mets. Third baseman David Wright is getting cortisone shot in his rib to help speed up his recovery. The team hasn’t reported to when they might think he can get back on the field. In addition to infield injuries, lefty reliever Tim Byrdak is shutting down for some time after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee, so the Mets will be in the market for a replacement.

While on the topic of knee meniscus, and a guy who has none left in his right knee, shoe-in future HOFer and Atlanta Brave third baseman Chipper Jones is reporting troubles during his spring training efforts. The 41 year old is trudging through yet another painful year in the game. Jones has jokingly said “I don’t know if I can make it through this year.” In 2011 Chipper played 126 games despite some time on the DL after a knee injury. Chipper says he will play when he can and let manager Freddie Gonzalez know when he can’t.

The St. Louis Cardinals are riddled with injuries as guys like Allen Craig, Chris Carpenter, and Carlos Beltran are reporting some major and minor setbacks. The Nationals are still nursing star outfielder Bryce Harper back to health as he has not been in the starting lineup for the fifth day in a row for calf stiffness. Finally, Cincinnati is still working out issues with newly acquired closer Ryan Madson as he described elbow discomfort after reporting to Arizona for Spring Training. Baseball has been in full swing for ten days now and the regular season doesn’t start for three more weeks; leaving plenty of time for healing and recovery, or possibly further injury.


  1. I feel terrible for Joel Zumaya. He inked a deal with seemingly the only team willing to give him a shot at the Majors, then he does his best Joe Nathan impersonation by blowing up his UCL in Spring Training. The guy hasn't pitched since mid-2010. I wonder if he ever will again.

  2. Zumaya will have a shot again im sure. Look at Andrew Brackman, once a top prospect, riddled with injury, and now he is getting another shot. Zumaya is getting older, maybe late 20's or close to 30, so as a pitcher he needs to get back in action or shutdown for life.