When The Injury Bug Messes Up Long Term Plans
June 15, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison (center) is helped off the field by assistant trainer Hap Hudson (left) and manager John Farrell (right) after injuring himself in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIREWhen people think of the 2012 Toronto Bluejays they’ll think about the injuries that messed up the 2012 season. Brandon Morrow, Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie, Jason Frasor, are all players that missed time and came back this season. In Jose Bautista’s case it was a short return but he is expected to be ready by the beginning of the 2013 season.
Before the season Alex Anthopoulos said he knew this season’s Bluejays was better than last years but he didn’t want to say if they could get into the playoffs because he didn’t know if they could. Since the day Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM he has said he doesn’t want to put all the pressure on one season but instead build a team that can contend every season. We’ll never know what the 2012 Toronto Bluejays could have been if everyone stayed healthy but when they were healthy they weren’t a marginally above 500 team. When everyone was healthy the most games they went over 500 all season was 5 and the longest winning streak they had was 4 games. So AA was right in not declaring this a playoff year and he was still sticking to his long term plan.
When the injury bug messes up one season it’s frustrating. When it messes up a team’s long term plans that’s when it becomes beyond frustrating and you want to punch a hole in the wall. Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek and even the Bluejays number 1 prospect Travis d’Arnaud got injured this season. Hutchison and Drabek both had to have Tommy John Surgery and the Bluejays don’t know if they’ll be back by late 2013 or in 2014. D’arnaud’s injury wasn’t as serious as he’ll be ready by 2013 but he missed valuable playing time.
No one knows if Hutchison and Drabek would have emerged as reliable starters but there injuries are a huge loss because they take away internal rotation options for next season, organizational depth and possible trade chips. Now the Bluejays have more holes to fill for next season with a little less to do it with. Before Travis D’arnaud’s injury scouts were saying he was ready for the big leagues and would probably be the Bluejays long term catcher, making J.P. Arencibia expendable in a trade. This is still true but with D’arnaud’s injury being a knee problem, it might be a little risky to trade your other catcher. The injury bug can mess up a season but when it starts affecting other another seasons it’s more of an injury spider with its own giant web.