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Injuries plague teams across MLB ahead of upcoming season

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

With Major League Baseball’s spring training well underway, not everything under the Florida and Arizona sun has been good news for teams. This week, a flurry of injuries involving key players for a number of teams has left them scrambling to find replacements prior to the start of the 2023 season.

The first of said injuries involved Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki. The Cubs had originally planned for a lineup featuring Suzuki batting fourth and playing right field, but he has since been scratched from the lineup with left oblique muscle tightness.

It was later revealed that Suzuki had been diagnosed with a moderate left oblique strain, but the Cubs haven’t given a specific timetable for his return. Many are worried that he will miss opening day on March 30. 

If this is the case, they are going to have to look more closely at other outfielders in camp to see who might be ready to fill in Suzuki’s spot, especially if he is out for an extended period of time. When Suzuki returns, he hopes to have his first breakout season in the MLB after signing a five-year contract with the Cubs last offseason.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was diagnosed this past week with a similar injury to Suzuki – a Grade 2 strain in his left oblique. The Rays have since estimated that Glasnow will miss opening day and will likely be out for six to eight weeks. 

Glasnow is entering his eighth season in the major leagues, and he has been no stranger to the injury bug. He missed almost the entirety of the Rays’ 2022 campaign after having Tommy John surgery. He was able to make two starts at the end of the season and started for the Rays in the American League Wild Card Series. 

Glasnow was hoping to eclipse his career-high of 111.2 innings pitched in this upcoming season. Meanwhile, the Rays are hoping to find a worthy starting pitcher to start in Glasnow’s spot until he returns.

After being carted off the field during the Los Angeles Dodgers matchup against the San Diego Padres, it was revealed that Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux would miss the entirety of the 2023 season after he tore his ACL. 

Lux took a misstep while trying to avoid a throw during the game and ended up suffering the injury. He was expected to play a large role in the Dodger’s 2023 season after the departure of superstar shortstop Trea Turner in free agency. 

Lux had been consistently improving since his MLB debut in 2019 and many around the league were eyeing him to have a breakout season, primarily due to the possibility of him being an everyday player at second base or shortstop this season. 

With the Dodgers acquiring veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas in a trade with the Miami Marlins this offseason, which would have resulted in Lux playing second base every game, the Dodgers now must look in camp or in a possible trade with another to fill the gaping hole that is now at second base before the 2023 season starts.

After an impressive showing at second base for the Colorado Rockies in 2022, second baseman Brendan Rodgers might now miss the entire 2023 season after an MRI revealed damage to his left shoulder capsule on March 1. 

Rodgers suffered the injury just a day before on March 1, with the diagnosis originally being just a dislocated left shoulder. Now, Rodgers might miss the entire 2023 season. 

While Rodgers had a slightly below average at-bat during the 2022 campaign, only hitting .266 with 13 home runs and a .733 OPS, his defense is where he shined, with 22 defensive runs saved, per the Fielding Bible. 

With the Rockies now missing a huge piece of their lineup, they must explore other players they have in camp, including possibly shifting some players like third baseman Ryan McMahon back to second base to fill the hole for the time Rodgers is gone. 

With all of the injuries to key players on these teams, they all hope that these setbacks to their players don’t derail their plans for the 2023 season.

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