Pitchers and catchers report … and pitchers head directly to the trainers’ room. It’s a scenario that no baseball fans wants to envision, but it’s already the cruel reality for three would-be contenders this spring.
The severity of the injuries vary, but the impacts all will be felt. And unfortunately, this list will continue to grow.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
Flame-throwing right-hander Alex Reyes was the favorite to win the fifth spot in the rotation this spring; instead, he’ll have Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2017 season. A consensus top 10 major-league prospect, Reyes, 22, was electric during his late-season call-up in 2016 – striking out 52 batters in 46 innings and posting a 1.57 ERA over 12 games (five starts).
It is a devastating injury for St. Louis, which will welcome back Lance Lynn from Tommy John surgery but also has medical concerns about rotation candidate Michael Wacha.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Tillman won’t get his fourth consecutive Opening Day assignment and could start the season on the disabled list because of the ongoing shoulder discomfort that sidelined him for three weeks during last summer’s stretch run.
Baltimore’s rotation is a major concern even when its ace is healthy, and an extended absence by Tillman could be the difference between a spot in the postseason and a spot on the couch to watch the action.
USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
It’s not the most conventional camp injury – in fact, it’s arguably the oddest in years – but reliever Brian Flynn will be sidelined about two months after falling through the roof of his barn. That spill resulted in a broken rib and three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae.
After posting a 2.60 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 36 appearances last season, Flynn had the opportunity to win a key role this spring in Kansas City’s Wade Davis-less bullpen.