Under the Knife: Opening Week Injuries Around MLB

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Under the Knife: Opening Week Injuries Around MLB
Rick Rycroft

Time for a little perspective, people. While injuries have certainly been the story of the spring, they're not really up. We're noticing them more, perhaps, and there's an unusual pattern of second Tommy John surgeries, but there's no increase or epidemic. I've never had a problem filling up UTK since it started 13 years ago, though it always hurts to see big names like Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Bryce Harper in there.

We saw last year early in the NFL season that there was an apparent increase in ACL injuries. The raw count was up by the end of the year, but not so much that there was anything out of the norm. There were some big names, a cluster that got notice, but really things were just at the top of what seems to be a normal range. The same is likely true here.

Maybe things are starting to change a bit. I had a nice talk with Frank Coonelly, the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, while he was here in town kicking off the season for the Pirates affiliate, the Indy Indians. When I talked injuries with him, I get the sense that he's already got Dan Fox working on some things. The last thing the rest of the NL wants is the Pirates getting smarter about injuries. 

That advantage is still out there for a team that can figure things out, joining teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners. The tipping point for injury management is still a long way off, which gives us plenty to discuss today, so let's get to it.

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