2. Phillies thankfully avoided the 'injury bug' at World Baseball Classic
Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto, and Kyle Schwarber were just some of the many Phillies players who played for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Another key player — Taijuan Walker — was a starting pitcher for Team Mexico.
Thankfully, no Phillies player suffered a serious injury while playing in the tournament. The same unfortunately cannot be said for other Major League Baseball stars.
Houston Astros infielder José Altuve will need surgery soon to repair his fractured right thumb.
Playing for Venezuela, Altuve was hit in the hand by Team USA pitcher Daniel Bard. USA Today's Bob Nightengale estimates that Altuve will miss 8-10 weeks, although no official timeline from the team has been revealed yet.
Meanwhile, New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz recently underwent surgery to repair a right patellar tendon tear. He suffered the injury while celebrating a win with his Puerto Rico team. Díaz is expected to miss the entire 2023 season. While the Mets are reportedly being reimbursed for his salary for time missed on the injured list — as MLB has insurance to protect teams from injuries suffered at the World Baseball Classic — the National League East rival surely would rather have one of the game's best late-inning relievers available for them.
With Bryce Harper already sidelined for at least the first two months of the season, the Phillies could not afford to lose another star such as Turner, Realmuto, or Schwarber. Thankfully, all remained healthy during the World Baseball Classic and should make significant contributions for the reigning National League champions in the 2023 season.