Calm or Concerned?

Spring training is in full swing.  Here are some quick hits of stories coming out of camps and if fans of those teams should be relaxing or freaking out before Opening Day.

David Wright

Wright announced this week that he has a tear in his rib cage, but he expects to be ready for Opening Day.  Wright said that “It wasn’t so much a sharp pain. It’s just more of an uncomfortable cramp.”  Wright more than likely would’ve played through the injury in the regular season.

Verdict: Concerned

Wright says he’ll be ready, but that could just be player speak.  A similar injury led to surgery for Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman last season, costing him 60 games.  Not a good thing to have a nagging injury over the 162-game grind.

Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals ace got roughed up by the Braves last night and his spring ERA stands at an unsettling 7.45.  Atlanta torched him for 4 runs over 4 innings, with two home runs.

Verdict: Calm

Strasburg explained after the game that he has lost his composure and was trying to throw the ball rather than pitch.  He’ll still need more time to work on things, but that’s what Spring Training is for.  He’ll be good-to-go for the regular season.  Plus, he had a delicious burger named after him this week.

Chris Carpenter

Last we saw Carpenter, he was taking to the mound in Game 7 of the World Series and bringing the Cardinals their 11th title.  This spring, we haven’t seen anything out of Carpenter as he’s been sidelined with neck soreness.

Verdict: Somewhat concerned

The Cardinals are treating Carpenter with kid gloves.  Which is smart based on their ace’s workload last season and his age (turns 37 at the end of April).  He should be ready for the near start of the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Jaime Garcia or Adam Wainwright get the start on Opening Day.

Giancarlo Stanton

Stanton was hit by a pitch on the wrist in a game on Sunday, that manager Ozzie Gullien thought immediately had broken his slugger’s wrist.  Luckily, x-rays were negative and Stanton is day-to-day.

Verdict: Extremely Calm

Stanton will be ready to go for the season and is an odds-on favorite to become an All-Star in his 2nd full season in the majors.

Carl Crawford

New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine hopes that Crawford will be able to swing the bat in the next couple of days.  Crawford had offseason surgery on his left wrist and has been dealing with inflammation during spring training.

Verdict: Concerned

Crawford had a disastrous start last year to his Red Sox tenure.  He wasn’t what Boston fans expected when signed to a big contract last offseason.  Not being ready for opening day, won’t help endear him to Red Sox Nation for the start of 2012.

-Bryan Mapes

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