In a perfect world, every team in Major League Baseball would get through 2023 without any injuries, all while the sun shined and cute puppies rained from the sky.

But since it's not a perfect world we're living in, it's time to break out the ol' "Panic Meter" and put it to eight contenders who have been hit especially hard by injuries since the '23 season began.

We considered who has been injured and how badly, as well as what the ramifications are going forward. The better the player, the worse the injury and the less equipped the team is to deal with it, the more the panic meter is going to tilt toward "high" rather than "medium" or "low."

So as to keep the focus on teams that are worse off than they were at the start of the year, we limited our scope to injuries that have occurred since Opening Day on March 30. We'll nonetheless begin with a speed round that will touch on some notable omissions.


Speed Round

Boston Red Sox

The notion that the Red Sox are a contender is pushing it, but one nonetheless sympathizes with Adam Duvall. He broke his wrist just when he on his way to a career year via a 1.544 OPS through his first eight games with Boston.

Houston Astros

The preseason injuries to Jose Altuve (broken thumb) and Lance McCullers Jr. (elbow strain) still loom large, and now Chas McCormick is going on the IL with a back issue. Fortunately, the Astros have defensive-wiz center fielder Jake Meyers to spell him in the interim.

Pittsburgh Pirates

FanGraphs only gives the Pirates a 10.9 percent chance to make the playoffs despite their 11-7 start, but one wonders where those odds would be if they hadn't lost Oneil Cruz for four months with a broken ankle. He had been looking more and more comfortable in the spotlight.

Philadelphia Phillies

Darick Hall's thumb surgery further thinned out a lineup that was already missing Bryce Harper (Tommy John surgery) and Rhys Hoskins (torn ACL). But if there's any silver lining here, it's that Hall's injury prompted Harper to volunteer to play first base upon his return.

San Diego Padres

Think the Padres miss Joe Musgrove (broken toe) and Robert Suarez (elbow inflammation)? The former is badly needed in a rotation that has a 4.46 ERA, while the latter would probably be handling high-leverage spots better than Luis Garcia has so far.

San Francisco Giants

Joey Bart and Blake Sabol should be able to handle catching duties just fine in Roberto Pérez's stead while he recovers from shoulder surgery. And Joc Pederson's wrist inflammation sounds worse than it is, as the Giants are expecting his stay on the IL to be short.