At the beginning of June we have 2 months of baseball in the books. Every team is bound to have injuries by this time of year, but it’s how they recover from losing key players that counts. What teams are struggling due to high amounts of key player injuries? We will take a look in a special injury report addition of this week in baseball.
I have to start out by taking a look at the battle worn Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays started the season with ace Alex Cobb on the DL while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The starting rotation has been streaky as a whole, but the 5th position (that would have been filled by Matt Moore) has been performing fairly well. The spot has been filled by bullpen pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, Black Snell, and currently Matt Andriese. Andriese has been a welcome spark to to the rotation (3-0, 2.63 ERA) and once Cobb is back, hopefully Kevin Cash finds a way to keep him around.
The recent onslaught of injuries started with Logan Forsythe getting hit in the shoulder by a pitch in a game against the Seattle Mariners. He was put on the 15 day DL after a hairline fracture was discovered. Forsythe was the lead off hitter, batting .308, and had the highest on base percentage (.389) on the team. The void was filled with Logan Morrison, Tim Beckham Steve Pearce, and more recently Taylor Motter. Since Forsythe’s departure, there has been no shortage of runs scored. The Rays went on a 6 game streak of scoring 6 runs or more and scored their second sweep of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays. On the surface, it may look as if the Rays don’t miss Forsythe, but they would only be better if they had him. He is difference maker on the field and at the plate.
A few days ago the Rays were dealt another blow to the lineup. Platinum glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, while making a diving catch in the 5th inning of the 2nd game against the Tigers, landed oddly on his left hand and broke two bones. Thankfully, the Rays have no shortage of outfielders, although no one covers center like Kiermaier. We will see if Desmond Jennings and Mike Mahtook can fill his shoes.
Another AL team riddled with injuries is the Oakland Athletics. 2012-2014 were great years for the A’s, but they sank back into obscurity in 2015. With consistent offense and a rotation filled with new talent, the As were poised to make a comeback in 2016, but so far this season has been far from it.
The struggle has been real for the A’s from the start, but they only got worse when their injury report began to fill up. First to go down was young starter Chris Bassitt. This was Bassitt’s 3rd year in the majors and after his 5th start of the season, his velocity had noticeably declined. April 30th suspicions were confirmed, his UCL was damaged and he would need Tommy John surgery and will be out until next season.
The next devastating blow came to the A’s offense was outfielder Josh Reddick. Known for his aggressive base running, while sliding head first into 2nd he fractured his thumb. Reddick was hitting .322 at the time and was a bright spot in the A’s lineup. He is predicting to be put 4 to 6 weeks.
The latest and 11th player that was added to the A’s DL, starter Sonny Grey. Grey had been dominate the past 2 seasons keeping his ERA under 3, but much like Rays ace Chris Archer, had been struggling this season. After the series against the Rays Grey had reported some discomfort in his trapezius (a pair of large muscles that extend over the back and shoulders the move the head and shoulder blades) and reported that after his start Friday against the New York Yankees, he received a shot of cortisone. It is unclear how long this discomfort had been effecting Grey and if it could be the root cause of his rough start to 2016. One thing that is certain is that the A’s need Grey to return and be his 2015 self if they want to make a run for the playoffs.
The NL is has it’s own laundry list of teams that are being affected by tons of injuries.
The Cincinnati Reds are already in the most competitive division in the league, so the odds were already stacked against them, but injuries have been further stifling the team. A bulk of their DL is filled with starting pitchers. Anthony DeScafani is a young starter that firsted is first full season with the reds in 2015 and was showing some promise. He went 9-13 with a 4.05 ERA . Descafani was slated to be the Opening Day starter but was still feeling discomfort in his oblique Raisel Iglesias took his place. Currently he is on the 15 days DL and making some starts with the Reds A affiliate.
After only 5 starts, Iglesias reported a “pinch” in his shoulder 4/29 and the injury has still yet to be clearly determined. The injury is listed as a “shoulder impingement”. Iglesias is on the 15 day DL and although he has been making starts for the Reds triple A affiliate in Louisville, the team does not expect him back until after the All-Star Break.
Rookie starter Tim Adleman was called up when Iglesias was hurt and has become another victim of the game. After only 4 starts in the majors, Adleman was sent to DL due to an apparent oblique injury. An oblique injury is considered one of the worst in the game due to there being no surgery to fix it. Adleman’s return is unknown. Pitcher Homer Bailey is also on the DL.
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