Now that the full squad has reported, things are starting to get real. It’s not just pitchers and catchers, it’s hitters and fielders. The full team.
Along with the clubhouse suddenly getting fuller comes the trainer’s room getting fully. Injuries are inevitable, as players ramp it back up. Sam Huff pulled a hamstring that will keep him out for a few weeks. He wasn’t going to be starting the season on the major league roster anyway, so they just shut him down now, let it heal properly, then have him resume with the minor leaguers.
David Dahl is also not at full strength. Luckily, this isn’t because of a new injury. Nope, he has too many old injuries in the bank to draw from. He is still suffering the effects of shoulder surgery and cannot yet begin throwing. He can swing a bat, though, so he will be primarily a DH until he is able to start cranking up the defensive side of his game. But, that’s where Khris Davis and Willie Calhoun become important. If Dahl has to be a DH longer than expected, and, as we have seen from injuries, that is more often than not the case, then the Rangers have other left-fielders they can run out there. Pretty good ones too.
According to reports, there are a few pitchers showing nagging injuries as well, all bullpen arms. Joely Rodriguez sprained an ankle working out before he even got to camp and is nursing that back to health. Jharel Cotton has some arm stiffness after his first few bullpen sessions. And the D-Train is still in the station with a strained lat muscle, not a particularly welcome problem for a guy who throws one hundred miles per hour.
But, this is what spring training is for. This is why it’s six weeks. To give pitchers the time to stretch out, work out the kinks, and get ready for the season. And everyone else gets the time to nurse their injuries.
The first spring training game is this Sunday. Then there are only two off days until the season starts, hopefully, on time. Because of pandemic restrictions and safety precautions, there will be no split squad games this year.
So, let’s hope the injuries are minor, the games get here soon, and baseball fills the time once again.