Selecting MLB's All-Disabled List Team to Start Off 2013
As Opening Day unleashes the gates to a 162-game season, many familiar faces have been left off the 40-man rosters of their respective MLB teams.
Stricken with placement on the disabled list, these players will itch to return to the diamond in as little time as possible. For some, mid-April or early May isn't out of the question. For others, however, the All-Star break would be a miracle.
The idea of a nagging injury over the course of the marathon season is a haunting nightmare.
So, to restore faith in these injured stars, here is the 2013 All-Disabled List squad.
(H/t to MLB.com's Injury Report)
Catcher: Brian McCann, ATL
Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann is recovering from offseason right shoulder surgery and will not return until at least early-May.
It's a bit of bad news for Braves fans, who at the start of spring training were expecting McCann back by mid-April, but Braves GM Bruce Wren announced that McCann won't see any rehab starts until April 16.
The 29-year-old catcher is coming off a 2012 campaign in which he played in just 121 games and hit .230/.300/.399. His batting average was 49 points below his career .279 mark.
First Base: Mark Teixeira, NYY
The Yankees are going to miss Mark Teixeira's bat in the middle of the lineup through the first eight weeks of the season.
Given a timetable of 8-10 weeks after partially tearing a tendon sheath in his right wrist preparing for the World Baseball Classic, Teixeira is confident he will return closer to the eight-week period.
Kevin Youkilis will be filling in at first base for the Bronx Bombers, while recent addition Lyle Overbay can log some innings as well.
Honorable Mention: Corey Hart, MIL
Second Base: Logan Forsythe, SD
Losing another starting infielder was the last thing the San Diego Padres needed after third baseman Chase Headley went down with a fractured left thumb. Unfortunately, Logan Forsythe faces a similarly grim future.
The 2008 first-round pick will be out of commission for a minimum of six weeks due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which began causing severe pain a week ago.
Forsythe was expected to fill in at third base for Headley, but now Cody Ransom, Jedd Gyorko and Alexi Amarista will fill in the two vacated infield positions.
Forsythe made his MLB debut in 2011 and hit .273 in 91 games for the Padres last season.
Third Base: Chase Headley, SD
As previously mentioned, the Padres will also miss their starting third baseman in Chase Headley to begin the 2013 season.
Headley had a breakout 2012 season, hitting .286 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI, even finishing fifth in NL MVP voting.
The 28-year-old, who can also play first base and left field, sustained a broken left thumb after sliding into second base during a spring training game on March 17.
His placement on the disabled list is retroactive to March 22, and his six-week timetable could mean a return to action by late-April.
Honorable Mention: David Freese, STL
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez, LAD
The Los Angeles Dodgers paid the ultimate price in allowing Hanley Ramirez to play in the World Baseball Classic.
A torn ligament in his right thumb, which he sustained while diving to make a play, dampened the pride of playing for his native Dominican Republic in the championship game of the WBC. Ramirez required surgery and is out for eight weeks (until late-May).
The shortstop was poised to begin his first full season with the Dodgers but will have to wait.
Ramirez has watched his batting average drop below .300 over the past two seasons and will hope to regain his focus upon his return.
Honorable Mention: Derek Jeter, NYY
Left Field: Cody Ross, ARZ
New Arizona Diamondback Cody Ross suffered a left calf strain during a spring training game on March 3.
Rather than rush the 32-year-old back, the team decided to start him on the disabled list, play in a few minor league games when their season starts on Thursday and have Ross in the big league lineup once the team returns from a trip to Milwaukee.
Ross hit 22 home runs and drove in 81 runs for the Red Sox in 2012, quickly becoming a fan favorite. He will look to do the same for the D-backs in 2013.
Honorable Mention: Logan Morrison, FLA
Center Field: Curtis Granderson, NYY
There was a bevy of bad news for the New York Yankees this spring but none worse than the fractured right forearm of Curtis Granderson.
Granderson has provided incredible power to the Yankees lineup, benefiting from the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. However, a fastball that drilled him directly in the right arm on February 24 will sideline him through the first month of the season.
There were plans to move Granderson to left field in 2013, handing the center field duties to Brett Gardner, yet due to the injury, Granderson received no adjustment period and will return to center field in May.
Right Field: Delmon Young, PHI
New Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Delmon Young is recovering from November microfracture surgery on his right ankle. The injury will keep him off the field until at least May.
The Phillies are remaining cautious with Young, who will play his first full season in the National League.
He began working in the outfield and running the bases at the end of March and even hit a home run off R.A. Dickey in a minor league spring training game on March 22.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, BOS
The new-look Red Sox will be missing a familiar face in the three-hole to start the season.
David Ortiz has been hampered by a persistent right Achilles tendon injury that halted his stellar 2012 campaign at 90 games. He had been hitting .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI.
The slugger has also suffered from inflammation in his left heel. He did not play in any spring training games, and while the designated hitter is currently with the team in New York, Ortiz will return to Florida later this week to continue his rehab process.
Ortiz should be back by late April.
Starting Pitcher: Johan Santana, NYM
The deterioration of Johan Santana's career reached an all-time low this spring.
Santana was diagnosed with a torn left shoulder capsule, the same injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season.
The former two-time AL Cy Young winner tossed the first no-hitter in New York Mets history in 2012 before completely collapsing, posting a 15.43 ERA in his final five starts.
Despite arriving to camp healthy in 2013, he was quickly stricken with left shoulder weakness and ultimately a need for season-ending surgery.
Starting Pitcher: Chris Carpenter, STL
What seems to be the plight of the veteran pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter will likely miss the entire 2013 season due to thoracic outlet syndrome, a disorder in which nerves and/or blood vessels located between one's collarbone and first rib are compressed.
This is the same condition that caused Carpenter to miss the majority of the 2012 season and could mean the end of his career.
The former Cy Young and World Series winner experienced numbness and discomfort in his right shoulder as well as discoloration in his hand.
In his last full season, he threw 237.1 innings for the Cardinals.
Starting Pitcher: Chad Billingsley, LAD
A bruised right index finger, which has limited the ability to throw his curveball, can only keep Chad Billingsley out of the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation for so long.
The right-hander tossed six-plus innings of a minor league spring training game last Friday and has stated he needs one more rehab start, this Thursday, before making his season debut on April 10.
Billingsley locked in a 3.55 ERA in 25 starts for the Dodgers last year.
Starting Pitcher: Matt Garza, CHC
Matt Garza is expected to be out until early May due to a strained left lat.
Garza has not thrown off a mound since February 17 but is scheduled for his first bullpen session this week.
The Chicago Cubs' starting rotation is shaping up to be the team's strength, especially after Jeff Samardzija's dominant Opening Day start, going eight strong and scoreless innings, striking out nine.
Garza figures to be the No. 2 starter followed by newly acquired Edwin Jackson.
Starting Pitcher: John Danks, CHW
Chicago White Sox starter John Danks' timetable is based purely on how his left shoulder feels after returning from season-ending arthroscopic surgery last August.
Danks has been reported to be pain-free, but according to White Sox GM Rick Hahn, the southpaw will remain at spring training facilities for the time being, then proceed to a rehab assignment.
A late-April return is not out of the question, yet, again, it will be based on how Danks' shoulder responds.
Closer: Jason Motte, STL
In an unexpected turn of events for the St. Louis Cardinals closer, Jason Motte is beginning the season on the disabled list due to a muscle flexor strain in his right elbow.
Motte threw a painless inning against the Mets on March 21 but described tightness in his right arm on the bus ride back to Cardinals camp.
The aggravating part of this injury is the lack of a current timetable for Motte's return. Hopefully, the injury isn't too serious.
Motte saved a league-high 42 games in 2012.
Honorable Mention: Joakim Soria, TEX, and Ryan Madson, LAA