Injuries can be devastating for a player and the team or they are just speed bumps.
Pitching puts horrendous strain on moving parts. Age begets more injuries and slower recovery.
Alek Manoah, age 24. Young and healthy and strong like an ox. He has not missed a start. I expect 32 starts this year, and he will compete every single time he takes the mound.
Kevin Gausman, age 31. He has been pretty rugged, starting at least 30 games most years since 2016, the exception being 2019 when he only started 17 games. I predict 30 starts this year.
José Berríos, age 28. He has never missed a start, and I predict similar for him this year. Now if he will please show some consistency.
Chris Bassitt, age 33. Tommy John in 2016, played 28 games in 2019, 27 in 2021 and then 30 in 2022. I expect a healthy year and 30 games.
A great deal of the bullpen's success depends on the rotation. The deeper starters go, the less stress for the bullpen. They give it their all for one or two innings, sometimes multiple days in a row. They tend to break. We can count on at least one having a serious or season-ending injury. Who will it be? We don't know, but I hope management has a plan. A strong pen is a necessity for success.
Jordan Romano, age 29. We need our high leverage guys to be healthy, and Jordan has been pretty good. A couple years ago he had ulnar neuritis, an inflammation of the funny bone that causes hand weakness;. I am thinking 80 games for him this year.
Yimi García, age 32. Tommy John in 2016. Had a few back and throwing arm problems since, but pretty durable. Over 60 games each of the last two years. I expect the same this year.
Anthony Bass, age 35. Over 70 games each of the last two years, no serious down time. I see 70 games this year. He is also my one candidate (possibly) for serious time on the IL. I hope not.
Zach Pop, age 26. Twenty six appearances last year, 50 the year before, improving all the time. I expect him to make 50 to 60 appearances this year and be healthy. I am picking Pop as a dark horse and we will see real growth.
Erik Swanson, age 29. Missed games the last few years due to groin, elbow and forearm injuries, mostly as a starter. Was in 33 and 57 games in 2021 and 2022. Predicting 60 games this year, and on the IL a couple times.
Tim Mayza, age 30. Tommy John in 2019. One tough dude. Banged up seriously, then comes back way sooner than anticipated. Pitched 48 innings last year. He should get about the same this year, with two or three stints on the IL.
Adam Cimber, age 32. Sidearmers tend to stay healthier than other pitchers. My guess is he stays healthy and logs about 50 innings.
There are several others I see maybe not making the team or playing less important roles, and I expect another reliever signing and someone blossoming in Spring Training.
Whoever they are and whatever their role, I wish them all good health.