Dan's Data: Opening Week Injuries Wreak Havoc With Preseason Predictions • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Data: Opening Week Injuries Wreak Havoc With Preseason Predictions

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NEW YORK — It didn’t take long for the so-called “expert” predictions to get tossed out on their collective rear.

Injuries wreaked havoc across the big leagues in the first days of the season, with even non-playing personnel on the receiving end.

Washington catcher Wilson Ramos, who batted cleanup on Opening Day in New York, broke his left hand and will miss four to eight weeks, dealing a severe blow to the Nationals in their bid to narrow the 10-game gap that separated them from the Braves in 2013 . . .

Jurickson Profar, handed the second base job in Texas after the Rangers dealt Ian Kinsler to Detroit, got hurt just before Opening Day and could be lost for half the season . . .

Mets closer Bobby Parnell, expected to be the strongest peg in a pathetic pen, tore up his elbow and is out indefinitely — perhaps for the season if surgery is required.

Hamstring problems hit Jose Reyes again. Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Hamstring problems hit Jose Reyes again.
Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Ex-Met Jose Reyes, invariably a victim of tight hamstrings, left the Toronto opener in the first inning of the first game and found his spot on the disabled list still warm from last year.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw managed to win the opener of the two-game series in Australia but hurt his back so badly on the 16-hour plane ride back to the states that he’ll miss all of April.

And coach Don Baylor broke his leg while trying to catch a ball thrown by retired slugger Vladimir Guerrero, who was throwing out the first pitch before the Angels opener (scouts always said Vlad had a cannon in right field!).

Given a second chance, perhaps those pundits who picked Kershaw for a third straight Cy Young Award might want to think again.

Will back injury preclude Cy Young season for Kershaw?

Will back injury preclude Cy Young season for Kershaw?

Other thoughts inspired by the openers:

In his first 78 games in the bigs, Seattle shortstop Brad Miller collected eight of his 10 home runs with a quartet of two-homer games. He homered twice for the power-starved Mariners Tuesday night . . .

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, deprived of Cy Young Awards he deserved the last two seasons, started this year with a vengeance, fanning all three Brewers he faced Tuesday night . . .

CC Sabathia’s rocky start in the Yankees opener against the hapless Astros looked alarmingly like too many of his games from last year . . .

If Daniel Murphy’s wife had not gone into labor before the Mets opener, he would have started the game at second base, with Eric Young, Jr. in left field. Without Murphy, however, Young shifted to second, opening left field for Andrew Brown and allowing the sub to slam a three-run, first-inning home run against a struggling Stephen Strasburg. The lead didn’t last, however, as the Mets bullpen blew several save opportunities before finally bowing to Washington in 10 innings . . .

B.J. Upton has been awful since signing with Atlanta

B.J. Upton has been awful since signing with Atlanta

The Upton brothers, both on fire by the time spring training ended, are up to their old tricks now that the season has started. Bounced from eighth to second in the Atlanta batting order, B.J. looks lost at the plate, fanning with amazing frequency, while Justin is pulling away from the plate with swings that suggest he is flailing at the ball. Fredi Gonzalez would be wise to switch B.J. with eighth-place hitter Andrelton Simmons, a former minor-league batting champion who is the toughest man to fan among the Braves.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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