Spring Training is supposed to be a time for teams smooth out the edges, while players prepare themselves for the demanding 162-game season ahead.
Wins and loses are meaningless; stats posted by key players don’t forecast anything, as guys mindsets change once things start to matter.
There is one thing that counts from the spring that can impact a team’s season, and that is injuries.
Injuries happen in sports, no matter if it is the World Series, Spring Training or playing a pick-up-basketball game with your teammates. It is a harsh reality that bites.
This year is no different, as teams cannot buy luck with the idea of keeping everyone healthy.
A few unfortunate ball-clubs will be leaving Spring Training in worse shape than when they arrived. Regardless if a player is out for the season or has the real possibility of returning, the baseball season will move forward, and crying is not an option.
Below are key five players whose injuries will cause both fans and teammates to have that dreaded Spring Training nightmare:
SP Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – biggest blow in Spring Training thus far, as the team’s ace, Wainwright got shut down almost immediately. He had Tommy John surgery a week ago, so he won’t return to St. Louis until 2012.
2B Chase Utley – Philadelphia Philles – Utley missed a majority of 2010 and now might miss 2011, as he hasn’t partaken in a Spring Training game yet. Utley’s has tendonitis in his knee and first it was must-have surgery and now it rehab heavily so the change of story is never a good sign. Phillies are going to missing the days of Jayson Werth, as Howard has no protection without Utley behind him.
SP Zach Greinke – Milwaukee Brewers – Milwaukee will have to wait to welcome their new ace, who broke a rib off the field playing in a pick-up basketball game with his new teammates. Let’s hope Greinke can keep his mental game in tact while on the DL.