Every MLB Team's Biggest Injury Concern Heading into Spring Training
Injuries are a part of the game of baseball, but that does not mean that they are easy for teams to deal with.
One injury can greatly impact the trajectory of a team's season and can take them from a playoff team to one that is searching for answers in the offseason.
Every major league team has a player with some injury concerns heading into the 2013 season. Some players are coming off of surgery while others have had a history of issues.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Daniel Hudson
Following a strong 2011 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks were only able to get nine starts out of Daniel Hudson in 2012. He missed most of the season when it was discovered that he needed Tommy John surgery.
Tommy John surgery is not as big of an issue as it once was, but with the expected amount of time needed for recovery, the Diamondbacks could be without Hudson for a large part of the year.
Atlanta Braves: Brandon Beachy
Brandon Beachy had developed into a key part of the Atlanta Braves' starting rotation last season, but the team needed to find a way to replace him after he went down with an elbow injury.
Beachy required Tommy John surgery, and he is not expected to rejoin the team until at least June of this year.
Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts
If it seems like Brian Roberts has not played much over the past three seasons, it is because he has only appeared in 115 games over that time span.
Roberts has dealt with a variety of different injuries and now is hoping to finally stay healthy in the last year of his contract.
Boston Red Sox: Mike Napoli
Health issues are what caused the whole saga that the Boston Red Sox had as they were trying to sign Mike Napoli this winter.
Napoli has a condition known as avascular necrosis, and it is something that the team will need to keep an eye on throughout the year.
Chicago Cubs: Matt Garza
As the Chicago Cubs look to rebuild themselves into a contender, they will need to get good production out of Matt Garza in 2013. The team will then need to make a decision about if they should re-sign him or if they should deal him.
All of that will depend on if Garza can stay healthy. Last season he made only 18 starts because of an elbow injury.
Chicago White Sox: John Danks
A shoulder injury made John Danks ineffective when he was on the mound in 2012, and he was not there often. He made just nine starts.
The Chicago White Sox are looking to contend in the American League Central, and if they are going to have any chance of taking down the mighty Detroit Tigers, they need Danks to be healthy.
Cincinnati Reds: Nick Masset
A strong bullpen is important to any successful MLB team, so missing a pitcher like Nick Masset hurts. The Cincinnati Reds were without him for all of 2012.
Masset has had a nagging shoulder injury, but the Reds are hopeful that he will be able to return to their bullpen and contribute at a high level in 2013.
Cleveland Indians: Rafael Perez
Rafael Perez pitched only seven and two-thirds innings for the Cleveland Indians in 2012 as a result of a lat injury.
As one of the best left-handed relievers on the team's roster, the Indians are hoping that he will be ready to contribute this year.
Colorado Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki
The Colorado Rockies had a number of problems in 2012 and losing Troy Tulowitzki for two-thirds of the season only made matters worse.
Tulowitzki was dealing with a groin injury that forced him to miss an extended period of time. The Rockies need to hope that this is not an injury that lingers around and that he does not tweak it again this season.
Detroit Tigers: Victor Martinez
While Victor Martinez was on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury, the Detroit Tigers were able to reach the World Series.
Getting Martinez back could push the Tigers to the next level and help them take home the crown. However, they are going to need him to be on the field when it matters the most.
Houston Astros: J.D. Martinez
The Houston Astros' outfield is not looking that great at the moment, and they cannot afford to have one of their starters miss time.
At the moment, J.D. Martinez is recovering from surgery on his left hand. If that impacts his swing, it could be a major issue for the Astros.
Kansas City Royals: Danny Duffy
It appeared as if top prospect Danny Duffy was finally ready to make an impact in 2012. He got off to a good start, but was then bitten by the injury bug.
Duffy needed to get Tommy John surgery and will miss a large portion of the 2013 season. However, if Duffy can contribute toward the end of the stretch run, he could help the Kansas City Royals reach the postseason.
Los Angeles Angels: Ryan Madson
The Cincinnati Reds signed Ryan Madson prior to the 2012 season, and they did not get to see him pitch a single game for them as a result of an injury.
Now, Madson is a member of the Los Angeles Angels and they are hoping that the same thing does not happen to them. They need Madson to return to the level that he pitched at before he was hurt.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Carl Crawford
Since leaving the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent, Carl Crawford has had a number of issues. His latest one is that he needed Tommy John surgery.
Although the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Crawford in the middle of the season, he has yet to play a game in their uniform. They are hoping that when he does, that he will look like the player he was with the Rays.
Miami Marlins: Logan Morrison
With the limited amount of talent on the Miami Marlins roster, they cannot really afford to lose any of their top players for any amount of time.
Logan Morrison had to undergo knee surgery, and it is uncertain when he will be able to get back on the field. Miami needs him to get back as soon as possible.
Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart
After learning that Corey Hart needed to undergo knee surgery this winter, the Milwaukee Brewers have had to scramble to find a new first baseman for the beginning of the year.
Hart is a big power bat in the Brewers' lineup, and they need to hope that the effects of the surgery don't impact his production.
Minnesota Twins: Mike Pelfrey
Pitching is one of the Minnesota Twins' major concerns heading into 2013, and they need all of their potential starters to be healthy.
Mike Pelfrey is coming off of Tommy John surgery that ended his time with the New York Mets. In the few starts that he made right before he got hurt, Pelfrey looked like he was finally putting everything together to make himself into a solid No. 2 or 3 starter.
New York Mets: Johan Santana
Johan Santana's time with the New York Mets has featured a number of ups and downs. The top moment was when he threw the first no-hitter in franchise history.
However, the Mets have had to deal with a number of injuries that Santana has suffered. They need him to be healthy for the whole year in 2013 and are hoping that he can pitch like an ace again.
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
It appears as if Alex Rodriguez's hip injury is becoming an increasingly larger concern for the New York Yankees.
There are now reports that Rodriguez could miss all of the 2013 season (h/t Dan Martin of The New York Post). If that is the case, the Yankees could have a hard time contending in the American League East.
Oakland Athletics: Scott Sizemore
The Oakland Athletics are unsure of who their starting second baseman will be to open the year, and the team will have a competition for the spot during spring training.
One of their better options, Scott Sizemore, is returning from a knee injury and may not be back at full strength to begin the season.
Philadelphia Phillies: Cole Hamels
Shoulder issues can be a major problem for starting pitchers. That is why there was some cause for concern when Cole Hamels had shoulder stiffness earlier this offseason (h/t Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer).
The Phillies will need to keep a close eye on the situation for the rest of the year to make sure it does not develop into something more serious.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Neil Walker
Neil Walker was putting up solid numbers in 2012 before his season was derailed by injuries. He suffered a dislocated finger as well as back issues.
Walker played a key role in the Pittsburgh Pirates' lineup last season, and the team needs him to be healthy if they are going to finish over .500.
San Diego Padres: Andrew Cashner
While Andrew Cashner did not live up to the San Diego Padres' expectations in his first year with the team, they still have high hopes for him.
However, Cashner may end up missing some time to begin the season. He suffered a freak injury while hunting as he was stabbed in the thumb (h/t David Brown of Yahoo! Sports).
San Francisco Giants: Pablo Sandoval
When he is healthy, Pablo Sandoval is key part of the San Francisco Giants' lineup. However, Kung Fu Panda has dealt with a number of injuries over the past few years.
Over the past two seasons, Sandoval has played in 225 games. He has missed time with broken bones and hamstring issues.
Seattle Mariners: Franklin Gutierrez
Both 2011 and 2012 were disappointing seasons for Franklin Gutierrez, in part because of the fact that they were cut short by injuries.
The Seattle Mariners are hoping that Gutierrez can remain healthy and once again play Gold Glove defense for them in center field.
St. Louis Cardinals: Jaime Garcia
Since his fantastic rookie season in 2010, Jaime Garcia has been a key part of the St. Louis Cardinals' starting rotation.
Last year he missed time due to a shoulder issue that had an impact on his performance. Garcia appears ready to once again make an impact in 2013, but his shoulder will be something to keep an eye on.
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria
It was easy to tell how much the Tampa Bay Rays missed Evan Longoria when he was injured last season. The team had a record under .500 when he was hurt (h/t Adam Berry of MLB.com).
While Longoria is over his hamstring issues, the team cannot afford to lose him for any other reason in 2013.
Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz
Neftali Feliz has demonstrated that he can be a dominant closer, and he has also shown that he can perform as a starting pitcher.
Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, they will not have Feliz for most of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. This will be a big loss for the Rangers as they certainly could have used his arm.
Toronto Blue Jays: Sergio Santos
After all of the improvements that the Toronto Blue Jays made to prepare for the 2013 season, they need to make sure that they are able to stay healthy. That was a big issue for the team last year.
Sergio Santos only made six appearances in 2012 because of a shoulder injury, and the team needs him to fill out the back end of their bullpen.
Washington Nationals: Wilson Ramos
As a rookie with the Washington Nationals, Wilson Ramos certainly gained attention with his performance. Things got off to a good start in 2012, but his season was cut short by a torn ACL.
Catching puts a lot of stress on the knees, and it will be interesting to see how big of a workload Ramos can handle in 2013.