This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.
The first full week of the 2021 MLB season is in the books and injuries are already beginning to pile up. The majority of the injuries appear to be soft tissue injuries, meaning they involve muscle, tendons or ligaments. Even if these strains and sprains are mild, the possibility of a cascade injury or subsequent reinjury or aggravation will linger. Furthermore, other neighboring areas may also become vulnerable to injury.
To better explain this concept, I often refer to the kinetic link model. The model is utilized by medical professionals as a way to see the relationship among injuries. The body is imagined as a connected arrangement of links working together to carry out a desired action. If an injury occurs somewhere along the chain, the other parts are inherently affected. For example, the kinetic chain is often referenced when discussing the throwing arm of a pitcher. In these cases, the arm is the kinetic chain with each joint of the arm (shoulder, elbow, wrist) serving as the individual links in the chain. If one of these links is weakened or compromised due to injury, the strength and ability of the entire chain is altered as the other links assume larger amounts of stress to withstand the change. Even a mild strain or sprain can increase the player's risk of suffering another injury to muscles or ligaments in a different location of the chain. For pitchers, this is often seen in the muscles of the forearm and the ulnar collateral ligament