(GAME DATE – Mar. 25, 2020) — Three big Bull League names on potential contender teams will be starting the year injured, as center fielder Orlando Garza (Montreal), 4-time Sandy Koufax winner Ricky Rodriguez (Minneapolis Ravens) and veteran starter Jose Castaneda (Ohio Oxen) were all hurt during spring training.
Castaneda fractured his shoulder blade pitching against Detroit back on March 14. Then, on the 20th, “Cha Cha” (Garza) strained on oblique muscle against Chicago. Then, just 2 days ago, Rick-Rod left a game against Milwaukee in the 2nd inning with elbow inflammation.
All of these players will be unavailable for at least the first 3 weeks of the season, which could spell trouble for Ohio and Montreal, who are both hoping for strong starts to the season this year. The Ravens have a lot of depth and can weather the storm, but are under new management and could feel the loss of Rodriguez if they have a slow start as well.
Some top names from teams that are not expected to contend will also be absent from opening day lineups. California pitchers Nick Rangel and Everett Weisensel our both out. Rangel will have elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery), and is gone for the season. Weisey suffered a forearm strain and will miss the next 8 weeks. As a result, the Tidals will look to plug some pitching gaps in their bullpen. Juan Avila could step into the closer role, and he has had a great spring, going 1-0 with 2 saves, a 2.57 ERA and 10 K’s all in 14 relief innings, allowing just one walk and 13 hits.
Dallas reliever Sergio Maestas was having a hot spring, holding a 0.96 ERA, 2-0 record, and 0.64 WHIP in 9.1 innings before he injured his shoulder on St Paddy’s Day. The diagnosis was a partially torn labrum, and he will not return for at least 2-3 months.