Talk to virtually any manager about his team’s injuries, and he’ll instantly tell you that every squad deals with them, that you can’t blame a bad season on trips to the disabled list, and that good groups will find a way to win despite any health-related misfortune.
Just listen to Rockies manager Walt Weiss speak about last year’s 66-96 season: “We don’t want to use that as an excuse, because injuries are something that every club deals with.”
Of course, Weiss is right — and he didn’t have to deal with anything near the jaw-dropping 2,116 days the Rangers lost to the disabled list — but the 2014 Rockies were still hit pretty hard: They lost the fifth-most total days to the DL (1,089) and had to handle a league-high 26 separate trips to the DL.
2015 MLB PreviewIf anything, those raw numbers probably underestimate the carnage that injuries inflicted in Colorado last year. Troy Tulowitzki, the team’s best player and arguably one of the five best in baseball, missed 71 games. Carlos Gonzalez, one of the league’s best all-around outfielders, missed 92 games with a variety of ailments, including a finger injury labeled as a “fatty mass with tentacles.” Nolan Arenado, an emerging two-way star at third base, missed 51 games. And despite batting a terrific .332 and slugging .579, veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer missed 113 games.
Even considering CarGo’s brush with an H.P. Lovecraft story, the injuries to the heart of the lineup might still not have been the most frightening part of Colorado’s 2014.
“We lost four-fifths of our starting rotation for much of the year,” Weiss said. “So even talking about Tulo and CarGo and Cuddyer and Arenado — it’s not easy to cover for those losses — but in some ways I think it’s easier to cover your position-player losses for a bit than it is when almost your entire pitching staff gets hurt.”
Identifying the problem is a good first step, but for a club that seems to suffer an outsize number of injuries more often than not, the bigger issue is finding a possible solution — if there even is one.
Is It Something in the Thin Air?
Over the 13 seasons in which Jeff Zimmerman of the Hardball Times has tracked DL data, the Rockies have finished with fewer DL days than league average only five times. As you can see in the image below (green represents … – Click Here To Visit Article Source