Sportress of Blogitude

Zach Wheeler scratched from start, suffered injury putting on pants

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Wheeler has joined the pantheon of MLBers who have suffered baffling injuries under the most bizarrely innocuous and seemingly benign circumstances.

Phillies skipper Joe Girardi relayed this week that Wheeler injured the nail on his right middle finger Wednesday while putting on his pants, of all things.

“You can’t make this up,” Girardi said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding Wheeler’s finger is “very sore.”

Wheeler, who joined the team this offseason on a $118 million deal, was penciled in to start Saturday against the Miami Marlins. His spot in the rotation will be taken by Spencer Howard, who was slotted to start in one of the Friday’s doubleheader games.

Instead, the Phillies will send out Aaron Nola for the first ballgame and the back end of the doubleheader will be handled by the bullpen. Wheeler will not pitch until Monday at the earliest, according to Girardi.

The most noteworthy aspect of the Wheeler development is of course how he has been sidelined after suffering such an ignominious injury. That said, he of course is not the only one.

There of course are no shortage of instances where major leaguers have suffered mind-boggling injuries involving innocuous activities that have absolutely nothing to do with actually playing baseball. Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow, for example, injured his back a few years ago while taking off his pants, of all things.

Last year, Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell suffered a fractured fourth toe on his right foot while trying to move a granite decorative stand in his bathroom after getting out of the shower.

Then there’s the case of San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, who last April had an accident in a sauna that left him needing nine stitches above his right eye. New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo suffered a “small fracture” to his left pinky toe in a hotel room mishap in February.

And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to such strange incidents, which for some reason tend to happen to MLB players far more frequently than to their counterparts in other professional leagues.