An April Tradition

Just as late February and early March brings forth the seemingly endless puff pieces centering on players arriving in Arizona and Florida and what kind of physical shape they are in, the last few days of March and first few of April brings us a slew of injuries and DL placements.

Whether it’s because the start of the season is right around the corner and teams that were hoping a certain player would get healthy in time for Opening Day or perhaps because the end of Spring Trainings brings about actual warm up games and some players aren’t as physically ready as thought, there always seems to be a lot of injury movement leading up to Opening Day. With so little other news to focus on, this tends to cause overreactions in the various fan bases.

Who are the latest players down for the count? Jeff Francis who was slated to take the two-slot for the Rockies, like Cliff Lee for the Mariners, was “sore and unable to play flat-ground catch Friday” after his five-inning start on Thursday. Francis is coming off a 2009 season lost to labrum surgery so the Rockies need to be extra cautious anyways. Hearing things like “It’s hurting pretty bad” is enough to make one want to short non-existent stock in the Rockies 2010 championship chances, but the prudent thing is to keep calm and wait for further news.

Coco Crisp fractured his pinky finger sliding into second base during a game on Friday and will begin the year on the disabled list as well. How long he is out likely depends on exactly where the fracture is. No matter what, Crisp might be out for close to a month, possibly two if he elects to let the finger heal totally before returning to play. Several players such as Michael Young and Nelson Cruz have played through the injury in the past, but it all depends on the severity and location.

Also, just as I finish writing this, word comes through Twitter that Milton Bradley left the Mariners game today with what is being called tightness in his right quad, but Mariner officials are saying that it was purely a precaution and, though he will be re-evaluated tomorrow, so far nothing has jeopardized Bradley’s starting in the cleanup spot on Monday.

Get used to it folks. Opening Day is right around the corner and for early April, that means lots of nicks and minor injuries.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.