CHICAGO -- In wake of the right oblique strain that sent third baseman Luis Valbuena to the 15-day disabled list, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Sunday that he sees rib-area injuries increasing in baseball.
"These rib cage [injuries], they're something new in the game over the last five, 10 years [and] they seem to pop up three or four or five times a year on teams," he said.
Sveum theorized that the reason for the higher frequency of the injury is because hitters take more swings in practice these days.
"Obviously the one thing that's changed since I started playing is the weights and the muscles and all that, and the thing that people are starting to talk about now is maybe the guys swing too much," Sveum said. "Because ... everybody's taking so many swings in the course of the day that the body doesn't recover. But I mean, these are all theories.
"There's a cage in every stadium now," he added. "So much more swings that guys take than we ever did playing."
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyBal9. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.