Some updates on injuries from around baseball, including an unfortunate blow for one of the nation’s top draft prospects:
- Indians’ outfielder Oscar Mercado left this afternoon’s spring training game with a sprained left wrist, per reporters (including Mandy Bell of MLB.com). He’ll be evaluated tomorrow, Bell adds. The 25-year-old is perhaps the best player in an uncertain Cleveland outfield mix. If the injury were to affect Mercado’s availability in the season’s early going, it’s likely Terry Francona would turn center field over to Delino DeShields, Jr. Acquired from the Rangers in this offseason’s Corey Kluber swap, DeShields is a high-quality defender and baserunner, but his bat has never come around at the MLB level. He hit just .249/.325/.347 (72 wRC+) with Texas last year, significantly worse than Mercado’s .269/.318/.443 (95 wRC+) line.
- Another speedster, Nationals’ center fielder Víctor Robles, has been working back from an injury of his own. Fortunately, the outlook seems promising. The 22-year-old is swinging without pain, manager Dave Martinez tells reporters (including Jessica Camerato of MLB.com). Robles is still feeling some soreness in his oblique while throwing and running, though, so the club is understandably playing things cautiously. One of the game’s best defensive outfielders, Robles hit a passable .255/.326/.419 (91 wRC+) in his first full MLB season in 2019.
- Marlins’ reliever Jeff Brigham is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, reports Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. He’s dealing with a right biceps issue that has thus far kept him from ramping up his throwing program. The 28-year-old logged only a 4.46 ERA with average strikeout (24.2%) and walk (8.7%) rates in 32 appearances last season. However, the former Dodger farmhand averaged 96.6 MPH on his heater with significant fastball and slider spin. That quality stuff helps to explain the Marlins’ decision to keep Brigham on the 40-man roster this winter despite an offseason full of churn in the bullpen.
- Former Dodgers’ first-rounder J.T. Ginn underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday, Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis announced. The 30th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Ginn turned down pro ball to head to MSU. The 20-year-old righty shined as a freshman in 2019 and looked to be a potential high draft pick again this June as a draft-eligible sophomore. He’ll still be eligible for the draft, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see if any team would be willing to offer him enough to persuade him against returning to Starkville for his junior season.