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At least one Dodger thinks the Australia trip led to injuries

Apr 3, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

clayton kershaw getty Getty Images

This is the sort of thing that (a) you can’t exactly say is based in medical certainty; and (b) you know Major League Baseball doesn’t want players saying regardless, given how much juice they put behind their international opening series initiative. From the L.A. Times:

The Dodgers shortened their spring-training camp to the facilitate the trip, something one player blamed for Kershaw and Wilson’s health issues. The player, who did not want to be named, pointed out how the Arizona Diamondbacks, the other team that went to Australia, have also lost their No. 1 starter and setup man. The injuries to Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez of the Diamondbacks were severe; both recently underwent major elbow operations.

The Corbin case is particularly noteworthy, for it is the first time a major league pitcher has ever had to have Tommy John surgery in the history of baseball.

OK, to be fair, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt was critical of how little time his pitchers were given to prepare for the season, and that could be a legitimate gripe. It’s at least something baseball should take a hard look at before scheduling overseas series in March again. That said, to the extent we’re actually attributing the injuries to the Australia trip with anything approaching certainty, we’re way off into crazy speculation land.

  1. renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Is this really a bad thing? Playing a game in Australia or not injuries can happen anywhere at any given time. So for that Dodger teamate or whatever his name is on blaming their game playing down under is just plain wrong.

    • djpostl - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Except that whole point of every time they make teams start the season early and play “meaningfull baseball” weeks early a slew of injuries occurs (see the Wolrd Baseball Classic, the Yankees/Rays trip to Japan that led to more hamstring injuries than I can ever remember and so on).

      Calcaterra can mock him all he wants but I’d bet that the athletes are much more in tune with their bodies than he is.

      You ask guys to get ready at a rushed clip and chances are stuff like this si going to happen, no matter how much Craig thinks otherwise.

      • clydeserra - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        but what of the redsox mets a’s mariners and dodgers and other teams that played in China, and japan just before the start of seasons past that had no problems?

    • apkyletexas - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Imagine what will happen when they have to fly to New York and Philadelphia from LA a couple times. The whole team will be like the zombies in The Walking Dead.

    • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      I watchd the 09 and 13 WBC, and it just so happened that injuries has struck them, they were also playing in the States in their own ballparks so i can see nothing wrong with it. And as for the Rays/Yankees game you mmention playing in Japan? I haven’t watched that one yet but I did watch the A’s and Mariners game in Tv being played there correct me if I’m wrong though but i didn’t see any injuries when they came back in the US but even if they do it certainly didn’t affect their performance in the regular season and this is definitely the Oakland A’s im referring to.

  2. doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    To be fair, Australia is dangerous. Look at all the things that can kill you there

    • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      For example?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Tasmanian devils

      • esracerx46 - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        ” A dingo ate your baby”

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        LoL what?

      • DJ MC - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/things-in-australia-that-will-kill-you-animals-that-will-try-to-kill-you

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Thanks man, I already wrote down the list and Russel Crowe is definitely the “MUST” one to avoid here and also his pic there is scary as hell.

      • esracerx46 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Thanks for this. I really need to more about American classic movies from now on :-).

    • spudchukar - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      More dangerous than Compton, St. Louis, or Detroit?

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        Seeing as I can only speak for Detroit, seeing as how I live in the area: Until they get stonefish or wild box jellyfish or 100 venomous snakes, I’m gonna go with a “Yep”

  3. tfbuckfutter - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Reason For Trip To Disabled List: dingo bite

  4. babyfarkmcgeezax - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    “The Corbin case is particularly noteworthy, for it is the first time a major league pitcher has ever had to have Tommy John surgery in the history of baseball.”

    Craig, I didn’t think your credibility could possibly get any lower that it already was, but that statement right there did the trick. Try doing a simple search and you will find that Corbin is nowhere near the first major league pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery. Could you even be any dumber? It’s too bad you are immune to facts.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Geezax, dude! Adjust your sarcasm meter. Sheesh.

    • thetoolsofignorance - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Is this commenter, “babyfarkmcgeezax” the stupidest person commenting on here? he honestly doesn’t get the sarcasm and thinks Mr. Calcaterra is REALLY saying that Corbin is the first? Or is he messing around for the outcry? Does anyone know?

      Stupid?

      A troll?

      Both?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        He just likes to babyfark all over the place. Babyfarks are terrible.

      • thetoolsofignorance - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        I think he’s a moron. or he was dropped on his head at a young age. Or he was a moron who was dropped on his head. Any of those

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        His mother may have recoiled in horror when he farked on her and dropped him. Can’t really blame her.

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Come on guys let’s not get too far here, I’m pretty sure he gets the message already.

    • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Go for option D man! I say again option D !

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      No you’re wrong. It is the first Tommy John surgery in the history of baseball. They are considering changing the name of it to the Corbin surgery.

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Does this count as sarcasm?

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      It is telling that Craig STILL hasn’t posted a correction to this blatantly false statement. His attack on the standards of American sports journalism continue. And Ignorant Tool here can throw around all the childish insults he wants but it still doesn’t make Craig’s preposterous claim true.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Since when is blogging journalism

      • apkyletexas - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        I agree with Mr. Babyfark. Craig needs to be punished for his serial indiscretions with the truth. I say chop off one typing finger for every blatant lie he’s tried to foist on his poor, unsuspecting audience.

        Two chops will probably shut him down for good.

  5. historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    It seems silly, yes, but anytime you have to force the body’s natural rhythm, I think you do invite issues. The time change every spring apparently contributes to an increase in heart attacks and visits to the hospital, so I don’t think it’s nuts to not look at how the changes they experienced affected them.

  6. xpensivewinos - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Well, guess that explains all of those pitching injuries for the Braves……………and every other injury that happened to every other player on every other team during spring training.

    Yup, everyone went to Australia and everyone participated in the WBC this year.

    Glad I cleared that up…..

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    If that is the case, I wonder when the Braves & Ranges went to Australia. Those two teams have had it worse than the Dodgers/DBacks. If Australia is to blame, then there must have been a secret series or two “down under” this spring.

  8. coryfor3 - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    The dates for the overseas games didn’t sneak up on anyone. If you aren’t ready for the season to start, it is because you should have started getting ready earlier.

  9. riverace19 - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Kershaw had never been on the DL. Pitching a game that counts is obviously different mentally then stepping on the bump in Tempe. He basically would have had at least 3 more spring starts before he pitched his first MLB game (considering that he was playing with kuolas around March 17, that equates to 3-4 starts missed). There is some truth to this. I hated this idea from the start and I hope the players union pushes back against this kind of thing.

    • doctornature - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      My sentiments exactly. When the adrenaline kicks in you start exerting more than your arm is physically ready for. His fastball was being clocked 87-89 in the end of his start and should have rang loud warning bells in the dugout. He sits 93-94 deep into games with regularity. Should have been pulled after his second consecutive fb below 89.

      Kershaw was also coming off 257 innings last year and was getting hit hard in ST. He never should have made the trip. I bet pressure from the Dodger brass, or MLB honchos, was why he ended up going. Hope it is not too serious.

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Like I say, No one can stop a guy who’s already determined in Pitching there, yes he’s injured but it isn’t a season ending threat and judging by his time he has made there you can tell he had some fun on experiencing a new culture in a different country.

      • NatsLady - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I’m sorry. Did Doug Fister get injured on the trip to Australia? Pitchers get hurt all the time. Kershaw also played an extra couple of weeks in October–should he not have done that?

      • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Well said statement Natslady. Injuries happens all the time wether it’s away or home.

    • halfthemoney - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Or, based on the seriousness that teams take in Spring Training, the Dodgers could have convened early and conducted more simulated games to prep Kershaw. Sorry, but a team paying him and the man earning that money should have had more foresight but don’t blame this on the Australia trip. It’s no different than the expansion of the post season over the past several years that add to a pitchers workload.

  10. thetoolsofignorance - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    I have no idea if the travel hurt Kershaw or any of the other players. I do know that driving for hours makes my back hurt. I don’t know if the early start had anything to do with it. I do know that lack of rest and warm up often leads to injury, though. At this point I just wish they hadn’t gone anywhere near Australia. The loss of Kershaw and Puig’s inflamed back are reason enough for me.

  11. skerney - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    “That dingo ate my third ulnar collateral ligament!” -Brian Wilson

    • renaado - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Well, it’s a good thing he’s beard wasn’t injured, Everything would go downhill if that happens.

  12. campcouch - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Sounds like a lame excuse for being out of shape after signing a fat contract. I’m certain they didn’t fly coach,get off the plane,snack on Vegamite,nap and then play. Tommy John must have been from lifting those drinks during the flight home. Science!

  13. jwbiii - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    This is not the first time MLB has opened on the other side of the world. The Dbacks and Dodgers started spring training early. Yes, their pitchers would have had another start or two, but they also started their intrasquad games early. If they didn’t get their work in, it’s the coaching staff’s fault. djpostl commented that the Yankees had some hamstring injuries, but I really don’t remember an increase in injuries from any of these other teams.


    Year Openings Teams City
    2014 3/22 3/30 Ari LAD Sydney
    2012 3/28 4/05 Oak Sea Tokyo
    2008 3/25 4/01 Bos Oak Tokyo
    2004 3/30 4/04 NYY TBD Tokyo
    2000 3/29 4/03 ChC NYM Tokyo

  14. psousa1 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Had to be Adrian Gonzalez

  15. jimeejohnson - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    “Lil” gw bush-League’s fault, as always.

  16. yahmule - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    How come nobody mentions his dope of a manger leaving him out there for 102 pitches in his first start of the year with all the other complicating circumstances?

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