Dear Johnny "Baseball" Fan,
I know you are probably frustrated by the unbelievable number of injuries already rocking the Fantasy baseball landscape. Our own R.J. White has six players already on the disabled list, and I've got two myself on just the second day of the week. There is nothing worse than drafting a team you hate, except maybe drafting a team you love that gets decimated by injuries before logging a week's worth of games.
Of particular note so far this season is just how many big-name players have already hit the DL. It is a bit reminiscent of what happened in the NBA this season, which saw a litany of All Stars sidelined by serious injuries for much of the season. "The injury epidemic" became a real talking point when we saw stars like Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant all wearing suits on game day.
Of course, the NBA's own analysis showed that "significant" injuries weren't on the rise, and it was more of a perception issue than anything. Taking a look at the numbers for MLB reveals a similar situation developing, with perception failing to match up to reality, at least so far.
As of Tuesday at 7:24 PM, our injury list has 103 players on the disabled list or expected to be placed on within the next few days. By the third day of last season, 109 players were already on the disabled list, according to information compiled by BaseballHeatMaps.com; we're actually a bit behind that pace. The numbers were a bit lower in both 2012 (96) and 2011 (86), but not so much that we can draw any conclusion about the state of MLB training staffs in 2014. There is simply no indication that injuries are occurring at a much higher-than-expected rate; sometimes what looks like a trend is just awful, dumb luck.
This isn't going to make any Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish or Jose Reyes owners feel better -- sorry, R.J.! -- but at least there isn't anything to blame this on besides just bad luck. It might hurt more when big names get hurt, but take solace in knowing that this rash of big injuries probably isn't indicative of any larger, more troublesome trend.