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MLB Early Injury Watch - How will they affect the team?

by Kevin Namendorf
by Kevin Namendorf

With the recent injury and consequent ankle surgery to New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, I was inspired to look into the other troubling health problems of significant players among the league. How will these injuries affect the bottom line?

1B Greg Bird: Surgery to remove a small broken spur on the outside aspect of his right ankle

The Yanks are going to have to replace him at first for 6-8 weeks, and it seems as if they are heading into the season with some combination of Neil Walker and Tyler Austin at the position. Walker has some experience at first base, but not much, while it is Austin's primary position. New York has plenty of power in their starting lineup, but this is a huge blow to the promising career for Bird. He has dealt with multiple, long-lasting injuries ever since he was called up to the majors.

SP Madison Bumgarner: Displaced fracture in his pinky finger

The hopeful San Francisco Giants made significant moves this off-season in order to turn their nightmarish 2017 around and to compete. However, the season is already looking like an uphill climb for them as they will be without their ace again for a good portion of the season. He is reportedly looking to return before the All-Star break. Bumgarner was hoping for a rebound season health-wise due to his shoulder injury last year from a biking accident. He was largely expected to lead a thin rotation consisting of Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Ty Blach, and Chris Stratton.

SP Drew Pomeranz: Forearm flexor strain

It is unknown exactly how long Pomeranz is expected to be out, but the Red Sox rotation will suffer for however long he is. With he and fellow lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (recovering from knee surgery) out, the Red Sox are left with two uninspiring options as their 4th and 5th starters in Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez. The timetable will become more clear as he prepares himself for the season, but this type of injury is something to be watched carefully after he returns.

OF Steven Souza Jr.: Grade 1&2 strain of right pectoral

The Diamondbacks are going to be careful with their recent addition from the Rays. He injured himself diving for a ball in the outfield. It could take him a few weeks to return and the D-Backs are certainly going to miss his 30 home run bat in the lineup. They acquired him in a trade to try and replace the outgoing J.D. Martinez (who signed with the Red Sox) offensively and is expected to bat in the middle of the lineup when he returns.

SP Anthony DeSclafani: Strained left oblique

The Reds easily had the worst starting rotation and pitching overall last year. DeSclafani missed the entire 2017 season due to injury after a very promising 2016 with a 9-5 record and 3.28 ERA. This year is supposed to be a growth year and a chance to get back on track, but it is starting with yet another injury. It's unknown how long he'll be out for, but he had an oblique injury back in Spring Training of 2016 and was out until June. The Reds rotation could really use his arm and to evaluate his potential for the future of their ball club.

3B Justin Turner: Broken wrist

Due to a Kendall Graveman fastball, Turner is going to start the season on the disabled list and miss the first few weeks of the season. It is extremely difficult to replace Turner in the lineup, especially coming off of the All-Star caliber season he had last year. His quality at-bats and clutch hitting earned him the big contract he landed to return to Los Angeles last off-season. The Dodgers will now have to shift Logan Forsythe over to third base and start the year off with a timeshare at second consisting of Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez, which is losing a lot of pop in their lineup.

This article was originally published on @kevinnamendorf