As an optimist, I like to think that the two sides in CBA negotiations will eventually find a middle ground, and baseball will resume in late February as planned. However, from several reports over the last couple of years, we know that may not be the case.
A lockout looks like a very real possibility in 2022, and who knows when we could see teams arrive for Spring Training. For several reasons, players and baseball fans alike don’t want to hear this. But in an interview with David O’Brien of The Athletic, Charlie Morton provided why injured players are the ones that will be the most affected.
When asked about the potential lockout, which will occur on December 1st if a deal is not reached, Morton expressed that the majority of players won’t notice much of a difference, but guys who are dealing with significant injuries will because they won’t have access to team doctors.
Really, most players’ offseasons aren’t going to change because of this (Dec. 1 deadline). But for me personally, if I can’t go to an affiliated site to do rehab — like if I can’t go to North Port (the Braves’ spring training site in Florida) to do my rehab, that’s not going to make it impossible to do my rehab, but I’m sure the Braves would like to have hands and eyes on me.
Of course, for a guy like Morton that is 38-years-old and has been around the block, he is familiar with plenty of doctors. He should have no problem getting ready for Spring Training while things remain locked down, especially considering his injury is a bone break. However, Morton specifically mentions Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka, two young guys rehabbing from much more complex injuries, as the type of players that will be impacted the most.
Yeah, because their life as a professional doesn’t stop. I mean, you go from working out at the team facility — I mean, Acuña and Soroka, those guys are working out at the stadium and rehabbing with our PTs — and then you’re on your own. Which I’m sure is probably pretty unsettling, especially if you have, like, franchise-caliber players involved.
In brighter news, it at least looks like Acuña’s rehab is going spectacularly thus far. He posted several videos on his Instagram story of him taking hacks in the cage yesterday.
— World Series Champion Jake (@cantguardjake) November 22, 2021
The hope is that Acuña is ready for Opening Day, but a lockout could prevent that from being possible.
However, the biggest concern lies with Mike Soroka. He’s coming off of back-to-back devastating Achilles injuries. Not only is his 2022 season in jeopardy, but his entire career could be. If anybody needs to be around team doctors, it’s him. Hopefully, a lengthy lockout doesn’t prevent that from happening.