Around Baseball: Who has faced the worst when it comes to injuries?
Winning baseball games doesn’t always come down to throwing strikes, clutch hitting and managerial decisions. Often, it’s a matter of staying healthy. Some teams’ seasons can be summarized by simply reading the disabled list.
Here’s a look at what teams around Major League Baseball have faced this year on the injury front.
Red Sox: The AL Wild Card leaders have endured a number of aches and pains this season, from Curt Schilling missing the whole year to Big Papi’s wrist injury, to Dice-K spending time on the sideline.
Most recently, the Sox had to put Tim Wakefield and Mike Lowell on the DL. Lowell’s making his second trip. It’s not like the Sox’s AL East brethren aren’t facing similar obstacles however.
Yankees: New York tried to overcome. They traded for Xavier Nady (who’s batting .324 since coming to the Bronx by the way) and Demaso Marte (who’s got a 11.05 ERA since coming to the Bronx by the way). They got Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers. They took a chance on Richie Sexson.
But injuries likely will help make this last season in Yankee Stadium a disappointing one. Jorge Posada is done for the season. Chien-Ming Wang has missed months with a foot injury suffered in Interleague play. Hideki Matsui still isn’t back, and Joba Chamberlain is on the DL.
Phil Hughes’ season has been wrecked. The Yankees’ postseason streak could be over at 13 seasons.
Devil Rays: Through the first four months of the season, the biggest injury issue the Rays dealt with was a couple of DL stints for veteran closer Troy Percival. Now Tampa Bay will miss Evan Longoria for at least two weeks and Carl Crawford for possibly the rest of the regular season. Percival is also back on the DL.
Ironically, these injuries happen as Rocco Baldelli finally makes his way back to the big leagues.
White Sox: Chicago had avoided major injuries until Jose Contreras ruptured his Achilles tendon last weekend. Not good news for the Sox as they battled the Twins down the stretch in the Central.
Indians: The Indians didn’t mess around with any 15-day DL stints this season. When they went down, they went down hard. Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez just now are nearing returns after each missing more than two months. Fausto Carmona missed more than two months. Jake Westbrook is out until late May 2009 at the earliest.
They are all reasons CC Sabathia is pitching in Wisconsin these days.
Tigers: Jeremy Bonderman is done for the season because of a blood clot issue. Injuries to Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney haven’t helped. But the Tigers’ disappointing season has more to do with under-achieving.
Rangers: A run at the Wild Card looks bleak for the Rangers, who will likely have to simply outslug opponents to make it possible. David Murphy’s DL stint and Milton Bradley’s usual nagging injuries don’t help. Hank Blalock’s season has never really got started. Pitcher Brandon McCarthy is finally nearing his first big-league appearance of the season after battling a forearm injury. Texas’ bad pitching could use a healthy Kevin Millwood.
Cubs: The Northsiders haven’t allowed some bumps and bruises to derail their season. Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood each have done a stint on the DL. Alfonso Soriano’s done two. But the Cubs have avoided the major injury.
Cardinals: After coming back from elbow reconstruction last summer, Chris Carpenter made three starts before missing his scheduled start Friday and being put back on the DL with a shoulder strain. It’s been that kind of season for the Cardinals, who are now starting to fade a bit.
Starting pitchers Adam Wainwright and Mark Mulder are already on the sideline. Mulder has pitched a grand total of 1 2/3 innings this season. Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel have spent time on the DL as well.
Dodgers: With the Dodgers completely ravaged by injuries, the Diamondbacks had a chance to run away with the NL West. Too late now. Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake are in tow and paying dividends. Nomar Garciaparra is back, with a walk-off home run already. Los Angeles is still missing Rafael Furcal and Jason Schmidt. Furcal, who hasn’t played since May, started baseball activities recently. The Dodgers are calling Schmidt a longshot to return this season. Brad Penny recently went back on the DL this week. The disappointing Andruw Jones is also on the DL, but he probably wouldn’t be playing in LA’s crowded outfield anyway.
Reach Repository sports writer Josh Weir at (330) 580-8426 or e-mail email@example.com