As we fast approach the beginning of the Bull League Spring Training schedule, which starts April 2, we will take a quick look at who is unlikely to make it to camp from the minor leagues of the 20 teams in the league due to long-term injuries.
Florida Rookie League (FRL) injuries will be covered in a separate article later today.
Cow League (AAA)
Expected back mid-August 2017: RHP Alejandro Dominguez of the Baltimore Bruins (Jacksonville Ravens) is out with a torn UCL, and is recovering from Tommy John Surgery as a result. He was injured on August 8 last season, after facing just three batters in a start against Hillsborough Dinos (California Tidals). Before his injury he was on a high achievement track and had posted a 2.05 ERA at AA level over 8 starts, before being brought up to the AAA Cow League to face some tougher hitting. Despite bumping his ERA to 4.32, he had not allowed a homer over 25 innings, and had struck out 27 batters.
Also expected back mid-August 2017: LHP Sincere Gilmore with Laval Zebras (Boston Brawlers), who torn his rotator cuff on June 30, pitching against the Brampton Longhorns (Toronto Nomads). He was a 2014 first round pick, but had struggled at the AAA level. His effectiveness on his return remains in question.
HEIFER LEAGUE (AA)
Returning in July 2017: RHP Michito Hori, Cedar Defenders (Montreal Metros), tore his labrum back on August 14 last season, initially was off for nine months, but was told in January he would be off for an additional six months. Acquired in a trade with Dallas in 2014, Hori has bounced around the minor leagues for some time and is unlikely to be missed come spring training.
Expected back during Spring Training: Yoshi Ishii is a third baseman for the Hughes River Bats (Nevada Speeders), who torn his posterior cruciate ligament on July 23 against Gatineau. He had spent some time on the top team roster in 2015, going 6-for-20 (.300) with a triple and two steals, but had a far less exciting trip to the top level last season, going just 4-for-35 (.114) with no extra base hits. A bright spot is his great infield arm and incredible speed, but hitting remains a serious concern for him.
Coming back in time for the regular season in May: LHP Alex Placios with the Spokane North Stars (Jacksonville Ravens) missed all of 2016 after partially tearing his UCL before even playing a game. Missing spring camp would be no great loss for Placios, who struggles on the mound at every level he’s played.
Another North Star, RHP Mike Duffy, should return before spring starts, though he’s not likely to get an invite to camp anyway. He tore a rotator cuff last July against Orlando, and has struggled with control throughout his minor league career.
CALF LEAGUE (A)
Expected back for the regular season: Flagstaff Racers’ (California Tidals) C Corey Eager suffered from post-concussion syndrome since being injured late in a game against Laval Zebras (Boston Brawlers) at AAA level last year. During his recovery he was sent down to A level where he had decent appearances back in 2012.
Possibly returning in June 2017: First-round draft pick (2016) LHP Matt Way with the Lethbridge Raiders (Calgary Inferno) tore a rotator cuff in an appearance on July 18 last year, and the Inferno are without a doubt looking to see how he shapes up in 2017.
MILK LEAGUE (SHORT SEASON A)
Should be back in time for the season: Both Jim Pederson and Jake Bond are with Killam Cyclones (Toronto Nomads). Pederson partially tore his UCL in late June last season, the latest in a short career littered with injuries. Bond had been performing at a very high caliber with the winter rookie Toronto Nomads B squad until he sprained his ankle on February 17 of this year. He had yet to allow a single run, earned or otherwise, and had accumulated 8 saves in 9 opportunities, before his ankle injury.
Expected back in June 2017: RHP Nick Barnaby from the Longueuil Dynamo (Hamilton Crusaders), a career low-level minor league roster filler, destroyed an elbow ligament pitching last July, and is off recovering from the reconstructive surgery. He couldn’t throw a straighter curveball if he tried, and wouldn’t be sitting by the phone waiting for a spring camp invite even if he were healthy.