Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ranking Texas Rangers injury risks

Baseball seasons are demanding. Virtually every baseball player gets hurt. Or, possibly, every big league baseball player becomes debilitated at various points along the way - Cal Ripken being the exception which proves the rule.

The 2010 Texas Rangers are counting on a sizable group of players who have histories of being injured. The Rangers work closely with sharp medical staff, and hope to gain competitive advantage via shrewder than normal assessment of injury risks.

Ranking Texas Rangers Injury Risks

Level One: Extreme Fragility

Frankie Francisco, Brandon McCarthy

Level Two: Fragile

Rich Harden, C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, Vlad Guerrerro, Josh Hamilton, Taylor Teagarden, [Joaquin Arias]

Level Three: Somewhat Fragile

Colby Lewis, Chris Ray, [Eric Hurley], Ian Kinsler

Level Four: Ever So Slightly Fragile (i.e. have sustained past injuries), But Not Worrisome

David Murphy, Chris Davis, Michael Young, Julio Borbon

Level Five: Dear Texas Rangers, Do Not Use Pennant Fever As Excuse To Overload and Risk These Healthy Young Arms

Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz

Level Six: Clean Careers, So Far

Dustin Nippert, Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, Jarrod Saltalamacchia*

Level Seven: Iron Men (Knock on Wood)

Scott Feldman, Darren O'Day, Darren Oliver

* re Saltalamacchia: am ignoring what I consider a freak rib problem which has zero chance of recurrence. Tall catchers do tend to have knee and back problems late in their careers. Saltalamacchia, however, is too young for that.

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