GLENDALE, Ariz. — At the outset of a spring training ushered in with so much excitement, the last thing anyone wanted to hear about was injuries.
There would be no faster way to jerk the thrilling feeling of playoff expectations back to "here we go again" than to announce a trio of injuries to key players, including two offseason acquisitions. That, though, is how Rick Hahn started his welcome-to-camp press conference Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.
But there's no need to fear, as none of the physical issues nagging at Yasmani Grandal, Lucas Giolito and Gio Gonzalez are expected to do anything more than keep them out of the first week of Cactus League action.
No, the sky is not falling. All three guys are expected to be totally fine for Opening Day.
As for what's bothering these guys, let's start with Grandal and his minor calf strain. It's so minor that the new catcher with the franchise-record contract got to joking about it as soon as he sat down to talk with the media.
"What I actually wanted was not to run in spring training," he deadpanned. "I planned that well."
Grandal caught a pair of bullpen sessions on the first official day of camp, including one from Dylan Cease. So his leg isn't bothering him to the point that he couldn't squat for a while.
"It feels fine," he said. "We’re taking precautions. ... As you can see, I caught today and was fine. We’re going to take it day by day. We don’t need to rush now. We’re not really worried about spring training as much as the season. We’re going to be ready for the season, and we’ll go from there."
Giolito, meanwhile, isn't so much injured as he is just running late. He had a nasty bout of the flu, the same sickness that kept him from attending SoxFest last month. He tweaked a muscle in his chest while still recovering and had to let it rest for a bit.
He said he feels fine right now, he's just still playing catch up in terms of getting his body fully ready.
"I got the flu pretty bad. I got a flu shot, so I don’t know — I’m not a medical expert, I don’t know why it happened. But it was pretty bad. I was in bed for a few days straight. I had to miss SoxFest, obviously," he explained. "I think I was a little dehydrated, I tried to get back in the weight room, tried to get throwing, and it just didn’t feel right. Ended up taking some time off, and now we’re building back up. I feel fantastic."
And then there's Gonzalez, one of two new additions to the starting rotation, who didn't stretch or throw or anything Wednesday. He's got some shoulder soreness. Like the other ones, his injury, if we're going to call it that, isn't expected to do much more than knock him out of the first week of spring training games.
"Gio Gonzalez, when he was at home two to three weeks ago doing his throwing program, felt a little discomfort in his shoulder, so we slowed him down," Hahn said. "We got him treated up, he showed up here feeling great, but again, due to the missed time, he's a little bit behind, as well. ... We anticipate him being ready to go when the bell rings come the end of March."
So there you have it. Obviously, when some of the first news out of camp is injury-related, a negative reaction is hardly unexpected. But these don't sound like anything to get too worried about at the moment.
"We are very happy it’s not something of significance," Rick Renteria said.
All right then.