Baseball

2021 MLB Season: Effects of Early Injuries

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The 2021 MLB season is off to a hot start, but for some of the players, the 162 game campaign has begun to slow due to injury. Some of the game’s biggest and brightest young stars have hit the injury list, what does that do for each of their teams?

2021 MLB Season Big-Name Injuries thus far

Tim Anderson

The White Sox have had a woeful start to their 2021 MLB season. Starting the season without standout outfielder, Eloy Jimenez, add on superstar shortstop Tim Anderson to the injury list for the south side. The injury occurred when Anderson was trying to leg out a ground ball on the early season match-up against the Angels.

Anderson was a sleeper candidate for American League MVP heading into the season, so the hope is the hamstring issue comes and goes quickly. However, playing the important position on the field, the White Sox could use one of the leaders in the clubhouse back to keep pace with the hot Twins.

Dellin Betances

The Mets bullpen started off their campaign with a loss against the Phillies, which makes the injury of Betances is substantial. The numbers since leaving the Yankees have not been pretty for the big right-hander, but Betances is always a strikeout threat with one of the better curveballs out of the bullpen.

New York had high hopes heading into the 2021 MLB season after revamping their roster. The bullpen had improved around Betances, and hope was high after he got healthier in the offseason. The four-time All-Star has battled injury since the 2019 season and will continue to as he hits the IL early this season.

Josh Donaldson

Good news, Josh Donaldson’s first at-bat of the 2021 MLB season was a double against the Milwaukee Brewers. Bad news, his hamstring was strained as he rounded first base. In his first season joining the Twins, the ‘Bringer of Rain’ saw a significant dip in his statistics. The hope was a regular scheduled 162 games would allow Donaldson to get back into form, but fans will have to wait and see.

For the Twins, they have came out of the gates strong following hot bats of Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton. Adding in Donaldson can only help the team as the Twins look to fend off the White Sox all season in what should be an entertaining AL Central race.

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Seeing one of the games biggest stars go down on what looked to be a non-contact injury is never promising. As a Chicago Bulls fan, it gives me Derrick Rose vibes. The rumor is that Tatis Jr.’s MRI showed a labrum tear which means a favorite for the NL MVP is going to miss the season. There is heavy speculation and unknowns around Tatis Jr., so baseball fans continue to hold their breath with the hope we get to see Tatis back manning the brown and gold for the Friars in the 2021 MLB season.

James Paxton

Paxton signed a one-year deal with the team he came up with this past offseason. The one-year deal could have led to many contending teams to take a look at ‘The Big Maple’ come trade deadline time. But a throwing arm injury near the elbow is not what pitchers like to hear.

Seattle did not have many title aspirations this season, but possibly losing their ace for the season is not ideal for any team. Currently, Paxton is on the 10 day IL with a forearm strain, but the big lefty is going to get a second opinion on what could be a more serious issue.

Ke’Bryan Hayes

Hayes came up with Pittsburgh last season and hit a whopping .324 with five home runs in just 20 games of action. This season started off a tad slower, but the NL rookie of the year favorite hit a home run in his first at-bat of his 2021 MLB season. After an injury to his wrist, Hayes hit the IL after a Saturday showdown with the Cubbies.

The Pirates have stated they will be cautious with Hayes return. Much like the Mariners, Pittsburgh does not have championship aspirations for the 2021 MLB season.

“Obviously, we want him back as safely and as expeditiously as we can, with the long term in mind, so if it’s not Day 11, it’s not Day 11. We want him to feel strong, feel confident, be healthy for the majority of the season.”

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk

The 2021 MLB Season is just BEGINNING!

With injuries to big stars and important pieces to championship contenders, it will be interesting to see how each team manages them. For the Sox and Padres, losing cornerstone pieces for some time can cause a slip in the standings. Rather for the Mariners and Pirates, allowing some time for these players to get fully healthy is not the worst idea since neither are going to be in playoff races.

It’s a lot to monitor through the first stretch of games this season, and injuries are never fun, but they are part of the game. Whether it is a superstar or a bullpen piece, they will have an effect on their respective teams. Only weeks into the 2021 MLB season, there is time for each to recover, but some should be kept track of more than others.


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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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