As a baseball writer does, especially when there’s no baseball being played in their country, I spend plenty of time on twitter browsing for any morsel of baseball-related news that I can find. One of those things that I came across this weekend was from Daniel Kim, who covers the Korea Baseball Organization. He noted that injuries are piling up in the KBO early on and that most of them are hamstring/lower half related.
Injuries are piling up in #KBO and this is something #MLB players/trainers should closely monitor as MLB aims to start the season in July. Most injuries are hamstring/lower half related. Players waited a long time to start the season and that maybe 1 of the reasons? pic.twitter.com/awrsyKNKbY
— Daniel Kim ??? ? (@DanielKimW) May 17, 2020
There’s been plenty of talk about injuries, and how the start-up-shut-down-start-up that players are going to have gone through between February and the hopeful projected start date of a season in early July could be a tough thing when it comes to preventing guys from being injured. The shut down for the KBO was a lot shorter than it has been for their Major League counterparts.
If you have been following more than a few professional baseball players on social media you have probably seen them posting videos and photos of their workouts from home/their hometowns. All of these guys are working out year round, of course, that’s one of many reasons they are where they are today – they put in the work. But you may have also seen some of the guys posting the information for the workout that they are doing on a given day as relayed to them by a team trainer and strength coach. Organizations can’t exactly be there to work with these athletes, but they are still doing what they can to give the guys the workouts that they can do at home in order to try and keep them in the best possible condition that they can. That includes stretches, conditioning workouts, as well as strength training workouts.
Still, there’s going to be a difference between all of that kind of stuff, and getting into games and letting it loose. That’s going to apply whether you are a pitcher or a position player. While we still aren’t sure if the season is going to take place – if and when it does, particularly early on, it’s going to be interesting to see the if players can avoid the amount of injuries that the KBO may be facing right now.
This is such a huge unknown. You can’t delay a startup because a delayed startup might lead to more injuries, which further delays the startup, which might lead to even more injuries. You just have to check on the players’ fitness levels, get them stretching, strengthening, and eating right for a few weeks, then turn them loose. Monitoring, and moderating playing time will help but only time will tell.
I’m glad you brought this up, Doug. This is the primary reason I’ve been an advocate of playing some kind of baseball schedule in 2020. If they don’t, I fear 2021 will be a season so marred by injuries that even a full 162-game regular season might be asterisked into the ground by all the hot-takers with their coulda-shoulda-wouldas.
To avoid these kinds of injuries in 2020, they ought to just re-start the entire process from the beginning…all the way back to “pitchers and catchers report” and so on, working up to whatever a 2020 season will even look like.
They didn’t just flip one switch to restart HAL-9000 in “2010,” y’know. It was a whole sequence: Hello…Doctor…Name…Continue…Yesterday…Tomorrow.