Spring Training has begun in the Bull League, and already there are several notable injuries that will have teams scrambling to make adjustments as Opening Day approaches.
Baseball’s annual warm-up ritual started on April 1, and by the end of the second day the New York Dragons learned that promising rotation piece Fred Loveless would miss the season. The 28-year-old right-hander, who was 7-4 last year with a 2.09 ERA, and was named Pitcher of the Month for June last season, tore a ligament in the 2nd inning of their April 2 game against Boston.
The injury-prone Canadian missed over 4 weeks last season with various ailments, including issues with his throwing arm that sidelined him from the end of August through the rest of the year.
California right-hander Cortez Zita was diagnosed with an arthritic elbow after leaving the Tidals’ April 5 game against Norfolk after just 13 pitches thrown. He is expected to be out for 4-5 months, almost certainly denying him a 2018 season given that California is not expected to make the playoffs.
The Montreal Metros were hoping that last year’s trophy vacuum, Jose Ramirez, would be in prime condition for a run at a repeat MVP year. But his health is now in question after he left Friday’s game against Detroit with a strain. Racetrack Ramirez is currently looking at a return before the end of spring training, but the team is remaining tight-lipped about his status for Opening Day.
Also out as of yesterday was Boston’s sophomore Joaquin Torres, a 24-year-old righty starter who struggled last season at the top level, going 5-11 with a 4.48 ERA, but generated a lot of excitement in ’15 and ’16 at AAA-level Laval. The hard-throwing groundballer was already dealing with a blister on his throwing hand, before tearing a rotator cuff in the game against Louisville. He will be out at least 4 months for recovery.
Other injuries from the first week of spring training include:
- LF Jim Boyer (MIN) – day-to-day, back strain
- RF Robert Araica (MTL) – day-to-day, strained hamstring
- 2B Sal Leal (STP) – sprained index finger