Ranking Each MLB Team's Softest Player

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIMay 9, 2013

Ranking Each MLB Team's Softest Player

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    All that MLB fans want to see their favorite players do are the jobs they get paid to do.

    For some players, that can be a tough chore since they have trouble staying on the field due to injuries.

    Each team has that one player who makes fans cringe every time a ball is hit his way in fear that he may get injured once again.

    So who are the softies in baseball?

    Here's a look at the softest players in Major League Baseball, using one player from each team.

     

    Note: As some have pointed out, the word "soft" is being used in conjunction with injury-prone. Also note that there has been a minor adjustments for the Orioles after much debate and discussion. Who was the change and where is he now? Click through to find out.

30. Miami Marlins: Juan Pierre

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    Juan Pierre hasn't had many injuries over the course of his career, but neither have many of his Miami Marlins teammates.

    Pierre lands in this spot mainly because of his age.

    Everyone else on the team is young and Pierre is getting up there in age.

    While nobody expects to see any injuries coming from him, somebody had to be listed for the Marlins.

29. Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz

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    David Ortiz is beloved in Boston, but he does also have a history of injuries.

    Ortiz dealt with a wrist injury in 2008 and an Achilles injury in 2012.

    Still, we've seen what kind of impact Ortiz does make when he's in the lineup.

    Had J.D. Drew still been with the Red Sox, he would have been here instead.

28. Oakland Athletics: Brett Anderson

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    Brett Anderson has only dealt with Tommy John surgery over the course of his career, but there's really nobody else to put in this spot for the Oakland Athletics.

    He's shown there are no side effects to the injury, becoming the team's Opening Day starter.

27. Detroit Tigers: Victor Martinez

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    The biggest injury to Victor Martinez came prior to the 2012 season when he tore his ACL. It was an injury that prompted the signing of Prince Fielder.

    He suffered a fractured thumb in 2010, but outside of that, the Detroit Tigers catcher has stayed healthy.

    It's been the same story for his teammates as well.

26. Houston Astros: Jason Castro

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    Jason Castro's big league career has been short thus far, but he is the one member of the Houston Astros who has missed significant time due to injury.

    Castro tore his ACL and damaged his meniscus in 2011, causing him to miss the entire season.

    Since then he's stayed healthy. Now, if he can only stay in the big leagues and out of Triple-A.

25. Chicago Cubs: David DeJesus

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    David DeJesus tore a tendon in his right thumb in 2010.

    Outside of that, he's been mostly free of injuries.

    And the rest of the Chicago Cubs fall into that same category.

24. Cincinnati Reds: Shin-Soo Choo

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    Shin-Soo Choo was another rare position player who had to have Tommy John surgery in 2007 on his left elbow.

    In 2011, Choo was hit in the thumb by a pitch and missed six weeks. He then injured his back in the middle of September to end his season.

    At the age of 30, Choo can only hope his injuries are behind him.

    For the sake of the Cincinnati Reds, he better hope so, as they believe he's the missing piece to a run at the World Series.

23. Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz

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    Neftali Feliz suffered elbow inflammation in 2012 and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery.

    He's still currently on the disabled list recovering from the injury, and one can only hope this is all the young pitcher has to deal with in his career.

    The Texas Rangers have big plans for Feliz in the rotation and they're no good as long as he's on the disabled list.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates: Clint Barmes

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    Clint Barmes earns a spot on this list for his injury in 2006.

    While carrying deer meat, given to him by then-teammate Todd Helton, up the stairs to his apartment, Barmes injured his collarbone.

    If for no other reason, that's why Barmes makes this list.

21. Atlanta Braves: Brian McCann

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    Brian McCann's troubles started in 2009 with blurry vision.

    Since then, eye trouble has given the Atlanta Braves catcher a few issues.

    He also started this year on the disabled list due to shoulder surgery.

    His performance is key this year. It's going to determine where and for how much he's playing for next year.

20. Milwaukee Brewers: Rickie Weeks

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    It all began in the 2008 NL Division Series for Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks.

    He injured his knee running to first base and was forced to undergo surgery soon afterwards.

    In 2009, he missed a majority of the season with a torn muscle in his hand, while missing two more months in 2011 with an ankle sprain.

    Weeks seems to find ways to injure himself, especially while running the bases.

    Luckily for the Brewers, he hasn't seen himself get injured since that 2011 injury.

19. Arizona Diamondbacks: Brandon McCarthy

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    This selection by no means calls into question Brandon McCarthy's toughness as a player, especially considering the shot he took off the head last year.

    However, over the course of his career, the Arizona Diamondbacks starter has had his fair share of injuries.

    Outside of last year, McCarthy has also dealt with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade (2007), which sidelined him for two months, and inflammation in his right elbow in 2008.

    My hope is that his injuries are past him. I'd like nothing better to see than him succeed after the shot to the head he took last year.

18. New York Mets: David Wright

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    David Wright has had a strong of bad luck over the last few years with the New York Mets.

    He suffered a concussion in mid-August of 2009 and missed a good portion of time due to post-concussion symptoms.

    Wright also spent two months on the disabled list in 2011 with a stress fracture in his lower back.

    While he hasn't had a history of injuries, he's someone the Mets can't afford to have injured. Another injury to him might cause Mets fans to groan the same way Braves fans groaned every time Chipper Jones got hurt.

     

    Note: Johan Santana was not listed here due to the fact that it's unlikely he'll ever play for the Mets again.

17. Colorado Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki

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    The 2008 season was not a good one for Troy Tulowitzki.

    Early in the year, he tore a left quadriceps tendon, and he cut his right palm in July when he slammed his bat into the ground.

    In 2012, Tulowitzki had a nagging groin injury that sidelined him most of the year, disappointing many fantasy baseball owners.

    Tulowitzki is important in the middle of the Colorado Rockies lineup. With him, they are one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball. Without him, they struggle.

16. Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria

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    Evan Longoria is a key piece for the Tampa Bay Rays.

    He was elected to start the 2009 All-Star Game, but was held out because of a finger injury. In 2012, he missed most of the year with a hamstring injury.

    The Rays went 41-44 with Longoria out of the lineup in 2012, winning 63.6 percent of their games with him in the lineup.

    Needless to say, he's an important piece to the puzzle.

15. San Diego Padres: Carlos Quentin

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    Carlos Quentin tried to put Zack Greinke on this list earlier this year, but is on the list himself instead.

    Quentin has dealt with a multitude of injuries throughout his career.

    While in the minor leagues, Quentin underwent Tommy John surgery. He tore his left labrum in 2007, suffered plantar fasciitis in 2009 and had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in 2012.

    Luckily (for him), he didn't hurt himself in the brawl with Greinke.

14. San Francisco Giants: Pablo Sandoval

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    Pablo Sandoval has missed some time due to various injuries over the last few years.

    This year, there was concern over his elbow, but he ended up still starting the season away from the disabled list.

    Part of the concern with Sandoval has been his weight. While he has worked on getting that under control, it's still a concern as to his future.

13. Los Angeles Angels: Josh Hamilton

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    Josh Hamilton has visited the disabled list five times since 2007 and played with a sports hernia in 2011.

    However, one must remember the off-field issues he had, which some include in his injury history.

    Needless to say, there is a history there, and while Hamilton may be away from that life for good, he's still prone to having a relapse.

12. Kansas City Royals: Chris Getz

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    Since Chris Getz was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2009, his career has been riddled with injuries.

    In 2010, he only played in 72 games after suffering a strained oblique muscle and then suffering a concussion later in the year after getting hit in the head with a baseball.

    The next year was a little better, as he appeared in 118 games, but in 2012 Getz went to the disabled list three times. He bruised his ribcage in May, had a lateral strain in his left leg in June and broke his left thumb in August.

    Needless to say, 2012 was a year Getz would like to forget.

11. Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Reyes

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    The picture says it all for Jose Reyes and the Toronto Blue Jays.

    In 2004, Reyes suffered a hamstring injury and stayed on the DL until mid-June. In 2009, he dealt with a calf injury and had a hyperactive thyroid gland in 2010.

    He again found himself on the disabled list in 2011 with a strained hamstring and once again this year with an ankle injury.

    When he's healthy, Reyes is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game.

    However, injuries always seem to find him.

10. Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman

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    Ryan Zimmerman is generally one of the most dependable players on the field when he's healthy, but he's also one who has dealt with his share of injuries.

    He had a small tear in his left shoulder in 2008 that forced him to miss some time, while also straining his abdominal muscle in 2011, which caused him two months.

    In 2011, he dealt with shoulder inflammation, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery this year on that same shoulder to repair scar tissue.

    Luckily for the Washington Nationals, Zimmerman isn't depended on to be the go-to guy anymore. There is talent around him, which will allow the team to be successful for many years to come.

9. St. Louis Cardinals: Carlos Beltran

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    Carlos Beltran's injuries started in 2005 when he collided with Mike Cameron in the outfield and suffered vertigo. He also dealt with a hamstring injury that year, but played through it.

    In 2009 and 2010, Beltran spent a lot of time on the DL, playing in 145 games combined in both seasons.

    The main issue was his knee, which seems to have never fully recovered.

    Beltran is another player who is dealing with the age issue. As he gets older, his body has had trouble staying together and not asking him for a break.

8. Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley

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    There are a few players from the Philadelphia Phillies who could be put here, but I'll go with Chase Utley.

    Utley has struggled to stay on the field the last three years, averaging 100 games each of the last three years.

    In 2010, he sprained his thumb, while 2011 saw him deal with chronic knee problems. In 2012, the knee issues came up again, forcing him to miss a lot of the season.

    When healthy, Utley is one of the best second basemen in the game.

    However, he has to be able to stay on the field to be called that.

7. Minnesota Twins: Justin Morneau

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    Justin Morneau is another player who has suffered tough luck over the course of his career.

    Late in 2009, Morneau was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back which caused him to miss the end of the regular season and the playoffs.

    Then in 2010, he sustained a concussion before the All-Star break and wasn't the same for the next two years. He missed the rest of the 2010 season, but then had neck surgery in 2011 to relieve pinched nerves.

    Thankfully for the Minnesota Twins, Morneau has relatively healthy since then. But you always worry about a player who has been through as much as he has in a short amount of time.

6. Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy

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    Jake Peavy was once one of the starting pitchers in the game. Then injuries set in.

    Peavy's struggles lasted from 2009-11 due to various injuries.

    In 2009, his ankle was the issue, while 2010 saw him suffer a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his back, causing him to miss most of the season.

    He seems to have gotten back on track with the Chicago White Sox, but one has to wonder what the next injury that pops up will be.

5. Seattle Mariners: Franklin Gutierrez

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    Franklin Gutierrez has gone on the disabled list five times in the last two years for the Seattle Mariners.

    This year, it was a strained right hamstring in late April. In 2010, it was a stomach virus, while 2009 saw him deal with knee tendinitis.

    As Seattle Times writer Geoff Baker says, Gutierrez is starting to affect the players around him.

    Gutierrez's health issues are now impacting other Mariners players, coaches and front office personnel in a 2013 season off to the worst start possible. His inability to play has exposed the risks taken in several roster decisions, caused the Mariners to use some veterans far more than they wanted and could eventually start costing people their jobs.

    And that's why, as sympathetic as some are to Gutierrez's health plight, they remain equally frustrated by it as well.

    Simply put, Gutierrez can't stay healthy and it may be time for the Mariners to part ways with him.

4. Cleveland Indians: Scott Kazmir

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    Scott Kazmir was once one of the top young pitchers in baseball.

    Then the injuries came.

    In 2008, he strained his elbow at the beginning of spring training, and he started the 2009 season on the DL with more elbow issues.

    The next year saw Kazmir begin the season in the same place he did the previous two years—with hamstring and shoulder issues. Later in the year, he made another DL stint with shoulder fatigue.

    After being out of baseball in 2012, Kazmir caught on with the Cleveland Indians.

    The biggest question now is, will his injury history come back to haunt him?

3. Los Angeles Dodgers: Hanley Ramirez

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    All you have to do is see what Hanley Ramirez has done this year and you'll see why he's this high on the list.

    Han-Ram tore a thumb ligament in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. Then, three days after returning from the DL for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he suffered a hamstring injury running the bases.

    Sadly, most of us could see it coming, especially considering he has a history of injuries. He dislocated his right shoulder in 2007, injured his elbow and shoulder in 2010 and injured his shoulder once again in 2011.

    He is what you consider the walking wounded.

2. Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts

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    After hearing a lot of debate and discussion on the Baltimore Orioles, I decided to make a switch...something I rarely if ever do.

    Brian Roberts always seems to find a way to get injured.

    In the last four years, he's played in 118 games combined. That's not exactly something you want to see out of the former all-star.

    From a herniated disc in his lower back to groin strains, Roberts has done it all.

    It's probably time for the Orioles to move on without him.

     

    Note: This just goes to show you that if you keep the comments civil, you will actually be listened to.

1. New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez

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    I'll admit, Alex Rodriguez is the easiest to bash in these kinds of articles, but the New York Yankees third baseman makes it too easy.

    He's struggled to stay healthy since 2009, but could that be because he wasn't taking performance-enhancing drugs?

    Rodriguez admitted in an interview in 2009 that he had used PEDs during his career, but it was only during a short time. Since then, he hasn't been the same Alex Rodriguez, which makes you wonder if he was taking drugs all along.

    He averaged 120 games over the last four years due to various ailments, last year's being the best. He suffered from "Can't-Hit-the-Ball-itis," getting subbed for multiple times throughout the end of the season and the playoffs.

    This year, he had surgery on his left hip, which is expected to sideline him until the All-Star break.