Baltimore Orioles: Too many injuries?


To just to review, David Lough will be headed to the DL for a hamstring problem, J.J. Hardy for a muscle strain in his shoulder, and Matt Wieters of course for his surgically-repaired elbow. The question at hand is whether or not these issues will leave the Baltimore Orioles hamstrung for the beginning of the season. (No pun intended.) And the answer to that is that it very well could – if the Birds allow it to.

Injuries are never a good thing, and the fact that so many have seem to come at the end of the spring is frustrating. But the only way this becomes a problem for the Birds is if they don’t adopt their mantra of the past right out of the gate: next man up. This is a group that lost Nick Markakis to a broken wrist in September of 2012, only to rally and still make the playoffs. Then last year of course they lost Wieters and Manny Machado, only to win the division and make it to the ALCS. 

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This is not to say that the road isn’t a bit tougher. However keep in mind that we’ve seen a wave of injuries around MLB

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports /

this spring training. Just look down the road a bit and ask the Washington Nationals. They’ll be without Jayson Werth, Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, and possibly some others come next week. Ask the Texas Rangers, who sent Yu Darvish off to get Tommy John surgery during spring training. So in that sense the Orioles are lucky – all three injured Birds are expected to head to the 15-day DL.

Of the three, I would submit that Hardy is the most serious in terms of effecting the team. Lough might actually end up being out the longest, however also keep in mind that Lough was a role player who didn’t start too often last season. Wieters is expected to be off the DL on April 11th, which is the first Saturday of the season. (So if he’s ready to go at that time, he’d miss all of four games.) And Hardy is expected to return sometime in April, so we probably aren’t talking about injuries that will hurt the team too much.

But it’s for reasons like this that Dan Duquette signed guys like Evereth Cabrera (a former all-star) and Jayson Nix. It also presumably allows both Ryan Flaherty and Jimmy Paredes to break camp with the team. The key word there is presumably – nothing’s set in stone of course. I would also remind fans that Hardy missed four or five games due to some nagging back injuries during the first two weeks of last season. While I suspect this will be longer than four or five games, it’s not an untenable situation for the O’s.

Fans can catch the Orioles in action tonight against Pittsburgh on MASN from Ed Smith Stadium at 7 PM. Chris Tillman, who was named the Orioles’ opening day starter yesterday, will make his final spring start.

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