Brown, Dickerson’s Injuries Troubling The Colorado Rockies


May 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher B. Brown (51) reacts after striking out the side during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Rockies defeated the Phillies, 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Dickerson and Brooks Brown are back on the disabled list with the same injuries they had before, and that’s a worrisome sign for the Colorado Rockies. 

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Now that Corey Dickerson and Brooks Brown have both started their second stints on the disabled list for injuries previously suffered — Dickerson with plantar fasciitis, Brown with right shoulder inflammation — it’s fair to be concerned the rest of the year.

I know, injuries are unpredictable, and both of these guys are on the 15-day disabled list, so they could come back in another ten days. Plus, the Colorado Rockies are under no obligation to be honest with the media or fans about the extent of injuries; no surgeries or season-ending troubles have been announced, and I’m not sounding that alarm, because it’s dumb to assume about injuries without facts.

But, it’s also important to be realistic about what repetitive injuries mean, and to do it, I’m going to bring in my own playing experience. It’s not nearly on the level of these two gentlemen, and it’s typically irrelevant to any discussion on the Rockies or baseball (because who cares? Simply playing baseball doesn’t make you better at watching or analyzing it), but I think my experience is particularly unique in this specific case.

I’ve dealt with both plantar fasciitis and shoulder inflammation during my career. I never had surgery for either one. I eventually recovered from each. On the (very far) outside looking in, Brown and Dickerson’s injuries seem somewhat-kinda-maybe similar to what I dealt with on the field though certainly, there are unique attributes.

Believe me, the question with both of these injuries isn’t the season-ending problem, or the surgery concern, or the career-ender. With the training staff a Major League Baseball club has in 2015, neither injury should impact these guys beyond this year, and it’s even more likely both will be back to normal in another few weeks. We’re not talking about Tommy John surgery or an ACL tear.

But plantar fasciitis is brutal in its own way. A week or two of rest won’t make it disappear, and we’ve see that already with Dickerson. It takes months of rehab and recovery to deal with worst-case issues, and that can only come in the offseason when Dickerson can finally get some sustained time to recover.

And shoulder inflammation — which, granted, can mean a lot of different things and be felt in a lot of different places in the shoulder — is another nagging injury that just doesn’t get better because a team sat down a reliever for ten or fifteen days to let him catch up to his arm. (Trust me on that one!) How does Brown’s shoulder respond to throwing for our five times in a week when he gets back on the mound?

Teams and fans make a big deal out of clear season-ending injuries, and for good reason — a year off is pretty cut-and-dry. But nagging injuries — exactly like plantar fasciitis and shoulder inflammation — are the kind of “minor” injuries that affect players again, and again, and again, and again, and before you know it, it’s October, the season’s over, and he’s missed 60 or 80 games.

Best of luck to Corey Dickerson and Brooks Brown as they attempt, again, to overcome their respective injuries. Neither is an outright season-ender, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious. Maybe it’s pessimism, but something tells me we haven’t seen the last of either injury in 2015, and that’s a problem considering how much the Rockies need both guys to be healthy and good.

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