Triston Casas has scary comments on rib injury but provides Red Sox return date

Boston Red Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates
Boston Red Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox have been without their slugging first baseman Triston Casas since he left their April 20 game with a rib injury.

Casas was quickly placed on the 60-day injured list and he's expected to be on the sidelines for a long time. He was later diagnosed with torn cartilage around his ribcage. The 24-year-old described the ailment as "a car crash within [his] body."

Casas gave reporters more insight into what doctors told him about his injury, and his recent statements could be a cause for concern around MLB.

“It was a matter of time before this happened. He said it was something similar to like a pitcher needing Tommy John, just an inevitable thing that was going to happen sooner or later,” Casas said.

Doctors told the first baseman that his size, combined with the speed at which his body rotates to swing the bat, caused the tear of his cartilage. If ribcage injuries for batters become as common as Tommy John Surgery is for pitchers, MLB could have a huge problem.

Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas' statement about his rib injury should raise alarms in MLB

Eno Sarris of The Athletic recently reported on Casas' injury and many others caused by swinging the bat at high speeds. His reporting delves into newly developed statistics involving bat speed as well as player and coach opinions on bat speed training, which we won't get into here.

Exit velocity and bat speed are trendy stats for hitters around MLB in recent years — ones that both organizations and players highly value — so we could be on a collision course for an injury epidemic among hitters. Sound familiar? Didn't we just have a giant argument about the rise in Tommy John surgeries and how all pitchers are stressed to do is throw hard?

Casas' bat speed ranks just outside the top 10 in the league and Wilyer Abreu and Tyler O'Neill rank in the top 20 in the league in short and fast swings — it's an ideal combination for success, but there is risk involved.

Rib and oblique injuries are already on the rise this year, and Casas' is a prime example of what the future may hold. Some of MLB's biggest stars boast high bat speed numbers, like Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, Ronald Acuña Jr, Julio Rodríguez and more.

Red Sox News: Triston Casas reveals desired target return date

On Thursday, Casas said that his goal is to return June 21 — the day he's eligible to be activated from the injured list. Though it's not a guarantee because he still has five weeks to recover and get himself back up to speed, the slugging first baseman is remaining optimistic. Getting that mind linked up with the body, that sure sounds like Casas to us!

It's unknown how careful Casas will have to be in his rehab, but the Red Sox desperately need him in the lineup the moment he's fully healthy. Their offense has suffered greatly, both in power numbers and situational hitting.

Sox fans will be keeping close tabs on Casas' rehab, with June 21 circled on the calendar. But put an asterisk next to it.

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