Tibias, forearms, obliques, oh my!

Andre Ethier broke his lower leg (the tibia, for the purists) when he fouled a ball off it last Friday. He’ll be out 10-14 weeks. This means in all likelihood that Carl Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left-fielder for the first three months of the season.

That stinks.

So do all these injuries:

pitcher Frankie Montas had a rib removed and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disk and had surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from shoulder surgery has been slow and he won’t pitch in a spring game. Pitcher Josh Ravin broke his non-throwing left arm in an auto accident. Brandon McCarthy is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy (elbow) and Mike Bolsinger (oblique) have had their fifth-starter candidacies derailed by injuries.

Seager sprained his knee almost two weeks ago, but is expected back by Opening Day. Starter Alex Wood missed a start with forearm soreness. Julio Urias was slowed with slight groin tightness. Caleb Dirks never pitched because of a back injury.

Yasmani Grandal missed several games with strained forearms and came out of Monday’s game after aggravating the right one. Alex Guerrero missed a week with a twisted knee. Adrian Gonzalez missed a couple games with a bulging disk in his neck. Howie Kendrick missed a handful of games with a tight groin muscle. Justin Turner has been eased back slowly after offseason microfracture knee surgery. Crawford missed a game last week because of a sore back.

Other than that, Dodgers’ fans, it’s been a great spring training.

108 thoughts on “Tibias, forearms, obliques, oh my!

  1. Gurnick: “Pitcher Mike Bolsinger won’t recover from his strained oblique muscle in time to open the season as the Dodgers’ fifth starter, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Tuesday.

    “Carlos Frias and Zach Lee now appear to be the front-runners for the role that Bolsinger appeared to have briefly inherited when Brandon Beachy, the other finalist, came up with elbow soreness last week. But Bolsinger was injured warming up for a Saturday start.”

    And other Dodger Mash Unit stuff.

    http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article/168608356/dodgers-bolsinger-wont-open-year-in-rotation

  2. More black humor from comments elsewhere:

    “Now they say Ethier doesn’t need surgery. What will they say in 10-14 weeks?”

    Reply:

    “Rest in peace.”

  3. Will miss Dre’s bat, in particular from the left side, but left field is probably our deepest position.

    • On the other hand, it means more playing time for CC, with the arm transplant he got from Juan Pierre.

  4. Thank goodness players are not supposed to cry, as baseball is an injury-prone sport. In 2015, some 417 players were on the DL at some point. That is a lot, anyway you look at it. (56% relative to the 25-man roster and even 35% relative to 40-man, which doesn’t take into account minor league DL). 351 different pitchers started a game in the MLB in 2015 and 113 starting pitchers ended up on the DL (32%). And how many more players are nursing injuries at any one time without going on the DL? The giants [sic] “lost” $52 million on DL players in 2015, the most in MLB, with the Dodgers third at $35 million. This shows just how important depth can be. It also suggests that it’s a fool’s game to blindly label certain players as being injury prone and not try to understand injuries more specifically and seek value and weigh risks.

    • Have there been studies on whether modern players are more injury-prone? I’ve seen claims of yes due to weight training, bulking up, etc. which former players didn’t do much if any. But is that based on any fact, or just opinion?

      • I think the length of the season, and travel schedules, must be major contributing factors.

      • Will look. Can imagine that there are data issues right off the bat in terms of measuring injuries over time, such as changing nature of the DL and its manipulation by teams.

      • Advances in medical technology must have a major influence as well. Players that might have just hung up their spikes in the past hang around longer on the DL as they rehab.

      • Because of high salaries, teams may more readily place players on DL, to protect their investments.

    • Angel Pagan, by far the worst defensive CF in the NL had a dWAR of -1.9 last year. FanGraphs is projecting Cespedes at -2.5. He better hit a ton. Wonder how long that experiment works?

    • Nice Chad. I was wondering when someone would point out how silly that argument is about the club letting Kershaw down somehow. They have been to the playoffs the past three years and Clayton has a record of 2-5 with an ERA of around 4.50, which is about 2.5 runs above his ERA in the regular season during that time.

      • Don’t want to appear to be down on Klayton, playoffs a crapshoot, but FO is trying to put together a club that can sustain it’s competitiveness over the medium term to provide him with many more opportunities.

      • Or maybe Kershaw will decide to leave because he feels he’s let the Dodgers down.

  5. Continuing his consistent spring, BadGums allows five earned on eight hits in 3-2/3, and his spring ERA is now 11.12.

    The Confederate sympathizer also goes ballistic on yet another player of color – walking off the mound to threaten Jayson Hayward.

  6. State of the Gnats’ rotation (via SF Comicle): “The projected rotation has started nine Cactus League games since the team’s March 15 day off and surrendered 38 earned runs in 31-2/3
    innings, a 10.80 ERA.”

  7. It’s only spring, but still…it’s always gnice to see a Gnat gnocked out in the first.

  8. What do you folks think the chance is that Segedin makes the team? Thompson? Barnes?

    • Barnes is the likeliest – versatile and has some pop, could be starting for some teams. Thompson’s not impressed me much, but Segedin’s looked pretty good, though mostly v. minor-league pitching.

    • Barring further DL moves (knock on wood) don’t see any of these guys on the opening day roster unless they move Alex. But, sure to see Thompson and Barnes during the season and perhaps Segedin.

  9. For the Gnats, Cueto goes six innings v. the Royals, allowing three runs – their first “quality start” of the spring.

  10. SVS “owned” Wade Miley in 2014, going 7-for-11 vs. him with 3 doubles and 4 HRs. Miley was not available to face SVS last year and he was with Boston. Miley is now with Seattle. Today, SVS went 3-for-3 vs. Miley in the exhibition game.

      • I was unimpressed – defense bailed him out – but the back-to-backs by Bellinger and Calhoun (against a lefty reliever with considerable major league experience) were memorable.

      • Thinking they may go with Frias at #5 due to his stuff and potential to dominate.
        And then they–and we–hope he’s not as inconsistent as he has been at times.

        Think most teams would be inclined to choose power over placement, including Dodgers.

        • I expect Frías gets the nod, but Stripling will get an audition before spring training is over.

  11. From ESPN:

    Center field is the only position for the Dodgers that hasn’t had an injury issue this spring.

    Everywhere else, from Andre Ethier in left, to Puig in right, and the entire infield, including two separate injuries to second baseman Howie Kendrick, has dealt with some kind of issue. Catcher Yasmani Grandal is in danger of starting the season on the disabled list.

  12. With Kendrick possibly starting the season on the DL, I bet teams are glad they did not give up a first round pick to sign him.

    • I’d say he was overpriced at the qualifying offer, but reasonable value for what the Dodgers are paying. He should be a contributor, but not quite the everyday player he used to be.

    • Which is why we got him at a good price, if he can rebound anywhere near his production prior to 2015. Even then, his bat still seems lively, so if he can improve defensively he can make a real contribution. I am surprised that they haven’t tried him at 1st base this spring, where he has played some in the past. There, he could spell AGon against tough lefties and SVS could remain in LF (and Kike at 2nd) to benefit from his fielding as well as his bat.

    • It’s a wonder. I guess cuz most observers at this point use at least some of those newfangled stats that the FO loves. Was the same last year in many predicting a swoon by our Bums with the lost of Matty and Handley, but the number crunchers liked the line up and even suggested that the team would actually hit more dingers, which we did.

    • Happened to see in TBLA comments today that someone mentioned your B-ref sponsorship of SVS.

    • There were some encouraging signs but, coming back from Tommy John, he could use more work in the minors. I expect we’ll see more of him in the not-too-distant future.

      • Yeah, he seemed to know what he was doing out there for the first few innings

      • Ha!. He must want Uribear to be a member of the Tribe. Ball must look like a floating grapefruit for batters after seeing Klayton’s darting BB.

      • It’s an interesting issue for the FO, given that the start for the fifth is apparently Friday in the Phone Booth. Lee’s debut in the Bigs was rocky to say the least and there should be some thought for trying to put him in the best position to succeed in his next one. It’s a pressure situation that perhaps Frias can deal with better during the game and its aftermath. And he can always be sent to the pen. For Lee another failure might be more significant for his future. The giants have a formidable line up, but perhaps the park plays better to Lee’s strengths?

    • I stopped paying any attention to ESPN years ago. Cutting the cable helped a lot.

  13. Understand that Weird Game James Loney is being cut by the Rays. Sad, but he will still earned close to $10 million. Was one of my favorites.

    • Unfortunately for Loney, his ceiling turned out to be barely higher than his floor.

      • Never returned to the early career level, except for the the second half of 2011. Will never forget, however, his Grand Salami against the Cubs in Wrigley in 2008 NLDS and the utter silence that came in its wake.

    • I wanted much more for him but part of that was that he would get some money out of his baseball career and he was able to do that. He was a fastball hitter and that skill is always good against late inning fireballing relievers. Great defense. I hope Pederson will do more for me than Loney was able to do.

    • More like second half form. First 90 games they led the NL in hitting at OPS+ 113 and in the following 72 games registered a 95, associated with injuries to Howie, Puig, Turner, SVS and Grandal, and swoons by Joc and AGon.

    • Ha! CC hits balls almost as well as he hits strikes. Would love to what the numbers would have been for Yogi, Clemente and Vlad, notorious bad ball hitters.

  14. Clayton seems to want a changeup but hasn’t gotten one down despite his efforts.

    He evidently has asked Gagne as well as Greinke about it and grip for it. Gagne mentioned CK throwing a cutter “I didn’t know he had.” (Nor did anyone else.)

    Just what batters wanted. CK with a change and maybe the occasional cutter.

    I’ve mumbled on here before about a certain part-time Dodger pitching coach who made it to the HOF with a change as a major weapon and the chance the two of them might brainstorm up something.

    KInd of thing I like to think about. Make the best better.

    http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article/169981156/dodgers-clayton-kershaw-has-goals-for-2016

  15. WSJ piece on young arms, largely on Urias. Also this:

    “Still, there have been reasonably healthy flamethrowers. “Aroldis Chapman throws 104 miles per hour, so why isn’t he dead?” Conte asked. He hypothesizes that the proliferation of leg-strength training, which helps improve velocity, may be increasing elbow stress. Maybe pitchers are now so strong that the elbow ligaments can’t take the increased torque and force generated by the legs. ”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-julio-urias-dilemma-baseball-babies-its-precious-young-arms-1459442895?tesla=y

    • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has written a book about pitcher’s arms; it’s excerpted here at SI.com. He was on Terry Gross’s show Fresh Air on NPR yesterday talking about it.

      • I heard that as well. I did not realize that TJ surgery involved screws into the bone.

  16. Base-ball quebecois? I hadn’t realized the Sawx and Jays were playing in Montreal.