Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Carter Capps, Jarred Cosart, and Jose Fernandez. What do these players have in common? Not only are they key pieces to the Miami Marlins this upcoming season, but they are also players who landed on the disabled list in 2015. The large number of injuries to key players and a lack of depth led to a very disappointing season last year. Due to the Marlins "stars and scrubs approach," their stars have to remain healthy if the team wants to compete in 2016. As the season progresses, I will be doing injury-related pieces to analyze specific injuries and the overall health of the team. Luckily, this, my first injury report, will be short. The Miami Marlins are going into spring training healthy.
Below are brief updates on players who had injury concerns heading into the 2016 season:
Phelps ended last season on the DL with a fracture in the top of his throwing forearm. Originally, it was unclear whether Phelps would be ready for spring training. However, in a recent interview with Joe Frisaro, Phelps insisted he is healthy:
"I'm excited. It's never easy finishing the season on the DL. Any time you get a doctor telling you it's something they've never seen before, it's a little scary. But our plan went well. I haven't had any setbacks throwing. Everything feels good."
Phelps will be competing for a starting spot at the back of the rotation.
Michael wrote an excellent piece analyzing Jarred Cosart's struggles with vertigo. In another article, I will be doing a more in-depth look at Cosart's health and what it means for his ability to earn a rotation spot. However, for now, I will leave you with a quote from an interview he had with with Frisaro:
"I feel great. I tweaked some mechanical stuff this offseason. I tweaked some grips with [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] this offseason. All of my bullpens felt really good. My body felt great. I feel I'm in a good spot right now."
After struggling to recover from his vertigo symptoms Cosart saw a specialist in Chicago and was diagnosed with an inner-ear disorder. He underwent Vestibular Rehabilitation, an exercise-based therapy that is used to treat vestibular disorders, such as vertigo. Like Phelps, Cosart is competing for a spot in the rotation.
Michael described Stanton's hamate bone fracture in a previous article. Initially, the road to recover was more difficult than expected. However, he began swinging with no pain in mid-december and is back at full strength. His injury should no longer be a concern unless complications arise.
Earlier this offseason, I discussed how Fernandez's mechanics could potentially put him at risk for injury. In a recent interview on sportcenter Fernandez stressed that he is healthy:
"You know, first of all, I feel great. Healthy. I have been throwing the ball really well."
Fernandez will be on an innings limit this season to ease him back and avoid injury. That limit will be discussed next week and the doctors will have the final say. Interestingly, Fernandez said that if the Marlins make the playoffs, he would be ready to go.
There is a lot of great news here. Essentially, every player is healthy for spring training - let's hope they stay that way. One thing is certain: the Marlins will not be able to compete if they continue to send players to the disabled list as they did in 2015.