It is impossible to make the MLB playoffs in March. However, the games and events in spring training can make a dramatic impact on those postseason hopes.
Such is the case for at least four teams with playoff aspirations. The Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, and Rays have all suffered injuries to important pieces on their roster over the past day or two, with some of those injuries having long term ramifications.
Potential MLB contenders battling significant injuries
First, the Cubs. As reported by Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, Seiya Suzuki has a moderate left oblique strain. While there is no current timetable for his return to action, this does not appear to be an overly serious injury. It is entirely possible that Suzuki will be ready for Opening Day.
The Padres, meanwhile, are going to be without one of their top starters due to an unfortunate accident. Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported that Joe Musgrove suffered a fractured left big toe after dropping a weight on it while working out. AJ Cassavell from MLB.com reported that Musgrove will be sidelined at least two weeks, putting his status for Opening Day in question.
The news is not as good with the other injuries. Tyler Glasnow, the Rays talented but oft-injured starter, is sidelined once more. As Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported, Glasnow has suffered a Grade 2 left oblique strain. At this point, Glasnow is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. However, with his injury history, it would make sense if the Rays were to be cautious bringing him back.
Even that prognosis is better than what the Dodgers are facing. Shortstop Gavin Lux is gone for the season, having torn his right ACL and damaging his LCL according to Juan Toribio of MLB.com. He is set to undergo surgery on March 7, with Miguel Rojas likely slotting in as the Dodgers primary shortstop. However, David Vassegh reported that Chris Taylor will begin a throwing program as he will be seeing more time at short while Mookie Betts is likely to get more opportunities at second.
Injuries can cause havoc for any MLB team. That is definitely the case for four postseason hopefuls in the early part of spring training.