Worst-Case Injury Scenario for All 30 MLB Teams

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IApril 14, 2011

Worst-Case Injury Scenario for All 30 MLB Teams

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    As much as we don't like to see them, injuries occur in sports all the time.

    Now, although some are more serious than others, anything could take a turn for the worst.

    And, not just in regards to the injury itself.

    It affects the team, especially if a major role player goes down.

    So, with all this said, here are the players from each team that you do NOT want to see sitting on the bench from injury.

Chris Young: CF, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 27 HRs, 91 RBI, 150 hits, .257 average.

    FIELDING: 10 assists, six double-plays, 418 put-outs, seven errors, .984 percentage.

    After a decent year in 2010 both offensively and defensively, Chris Young is out to a great start in 2011 through 10 games.

    Currently, he leads the team with three HRs and 10 RBI, but also has a .302 batting average.

    Fielding thus far has been excellent as well.

    No errors with two assists and one double-play, including 21 total put-outs, Young is becoming a solid center fielder amongst his MLB brethren. 

Jason Heyward: RF, Atlanta Braves

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 18 HRs, 72 RBI, 144 hits, .277 average.

    FIELDING: Five assists, one double-play, 235 put-outs, six errors, .976 percentage.

    After an outstanding rookie season, Jason Heyward is off to a good start by leading the Braves with three HRs and a .473 OBP.

    In the field, he's doing his part as well, with already 16 put-outs and only one error.

Vladimir Guerrero: DH, Baltimore Orioles

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 29 HRs, 115 RBI, 178 hits, .300 average.


    Despite the fact that he's only a DH, Vlad is an extremely valuable asset to any team he plays for.

    Last season in Texas he led them with his 115 RBI; now in Baltimore he leads the team with a .270 batting average and 10 hits through nine games.

    Also, if he were to play more in the field (like earlier in his career), Vlad could still be a very good and serviceable outfielder.  

Dustin Pedroia: 2B, Boston Red Sox

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 12 HRs, 41 RBI, 87 hits, .288 average.

    FIELDING: 212 assists, 50 double-plays, 137 put-outs, three errors, .991 percentage.

    Last season we found out how much it hurt the Bo-Sox with Pedroia out.

    He only played in 75 games, and Boston missed out on the postseason.

    Now, despite the Red Sox lackluster start, Pedroia is back to his old self.

    He's played in all 11 games and leads the team with a.366 batting average, .447 OBP and 15 hits.

    On the diamond he has no errors with 47 assists and nine double-plays.

Marlon Byrd: CF, Chicago Cubs

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 12 HRs, 66 RBI, 170 hits, .293 average.

    FIELDING: Six assists, two double-plays, 371 put-outs, three errors, .992 percentage.

    Thus far in 2011, Byrd leads the Cubs with a .391 batting average, .417 OBP and 18 hits.

    In the field he has acquired 15 put-outs with no errors, so as long as he keeps it up, the Cubs have a solid outfield with him and Alfonso Soriano.

Paul Konerko: 1B, Chicago White Sox

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 39 HRs, 111 RBI, 171 hits, .312 average.

    FIELDING: 83 assists, 124 double-plays, 1,069 put-outs, seven errors, .994 percentage.

    If you're a White Sox fan, think about them without him. Scary, huh?

    Well, an injury to him would definitely be a huge loss as he currently leads the team in every major batting category (batting average, HR, RBI, OBP and hits).

    He's also the signature first baseman, so the intangible synergy he has with the other White Sox is uncoachable.

    That said, they have other pieces that could fill the role, but none of which that can match his knowledge, skills and abilities.

Joey Votto: 1B, Cincinnati Reds

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 37 HRs, 113 RBI, 177 hits, .324 average.

    FIELDING: 128 assists, 101 double-plays, 1,132 put-outs, five errors, .996 percentage.

    For the 2010 season, Joey Votto was the Reds' secret weapon as he led them in batting average (.324), HRs (37), RBI (113), OBP (.424) and hits (177).

    That ultimately led to earning him the National League MVP award.

    To this point in 2011, Votto has hit the ground running while leading the team in batting average (.415), OBP (.510) and hits (17).

    Now, whether its last season or this season, Votto also has done his job at first base and has no errors thus far in 2011.

Shin-Soo Choo: RF, Cleveland Indians

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 22 HRs, 90 RBI, 165 hits, .300 average

    FIELDING: 14 assists, three double-plays, 267 put-outs, four errors, .986 percentage.

    Despite his slow start to the season, his presence has contributed to the Tribe's great start.

    His stats that you see above led Cleveland last season, so it's no surprise that pitchers are zeroing in on him more this year.

    That said, with Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, Orlando Cabrera and a healthy Travis Hafner, Choo is the main focus after his 2010 campaign.

    Others in their lineup are solid, but Santana is young, Orlando is old, Asdrubal is weaker at the plate than in the field and Hafner is just getting back into the swing of things (no pun intended).

    Choo has been the most consistent for the Indians since 2008, so if he goes down, opposing pitchers can then focus more on their other hitters (who haven't been as dangerous as Choo).

Carlos Gonzalez: LF, Colorado Rockies

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 34 HRs, 117 RBI, 197 hits, .336 average

    FIELDING: Two assists, one double-play, 56 put-outs, zero errors, 1.00 percentage.

    After leading the Rockies in HRs, RBI, hits and batting average last year, Gonzalez has maintained consistency through nine games thus far in 2011.

    Currently with seven RBI, and 11 hits with a .306 BA, he also has 14 put-outs, one assist and no errors in the outfield.

    The Rocks' are 7-2 and have the tools to contend for the NL West, however any injury to Carlos would definitely set them back a step or two.

Miguel Cabrera: 1B, Detroit Tigers

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 38 HRs, 126 RBI, 180 hits, .328 average.

    FIELDING: 96 assists, 133 double-plays, 1,218 put-outs, 13 errors, .99 percentage.

    Much like last season, Miguel once again leads the Tigers in batting and remains their premier man at the plate.

    Also, at first base he rarely makes an error, so you know he's reliable in the field.

    However, if Cabrera were to go down, the Tigers' offense would take a significant hit and filling his role would be tough to duplicate. 

Hanley Ramirez: SS, Florida Marlins

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 21 HRs, 76 RBI, 163 hits, .300 average. 

    FIELDING: 342 assists, 78 double-plays, 200 put-outs, 16 errors, .971 percentage.

    Last season Hanley Ramirez was Dan Uggla's partner in crime as they were the two best batters for Florida.

    Ramirez led in BA and OBP, while Uggla led in HR, RBI and hits.

    Now with Uggla gone, Ramirez needs to take over the reigns and up his play.

    However, he has gotten off to a slow start and is a day-to-day status.

    Therefore, either he needs to get healthy, or the Marlins need to rely on less-experienced players to challenge teams like Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Hunter Pence: RF, Houston Astros

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 25 HRs, 91 RBI, 173 hits, .282 average.

    FIELDING: Nine assists, two double-plays, 340 put-outs, six errors, .983 percentage.

    He led the Astros in HRs, RBI and hits last season; he currently leads them in RBI and is second with 15 hits.

    In the outfield he has 26 put-outs and zero errors through 11 games.

    He's a young and rising star that Houston needs in order to compete with division rivals like St. Louis and Cincinnati.

    If Pence gets hurt, it's back to the drawing board.

Billy Butler: 1B, Kansas City Royals

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 15 HRs, 78 RBI, 189 hits, .318 average.

    FIELDING: 96 assists, 101 double-plays, 1,002 put-outs, six errors, .995 percentage.

    Last season Butler led the Royals in BA, OBP and hits.

    Through 10 games in 2011 , Butler leads in BA, HR, OBP and hits.

    On the diamond he had a bigger role the previous two seasons, however he's only played in three games at first base thus far.

    So, could he end up as more of a DH this year?

    Well, it certainly is not a bad idea, especially for as great as he is at the plate.

Howard Kendrick: 2B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 10 HRs, 75 RBI, 172 hits, .279 average..

    FIELDING: 370 assists, 70 double-plays, 357 put-outs, 10 errors, .988 percentage.

    In 2010 Mike Napoli led the Angels with 26 HRs, while Hideki Matsui led them with a .361 OBP.

    In 2011 both are with new teams.

    That said, more will be needed from Howard Kendrick (led team with 172 hits in 2010) in 2011.

    Well, to this point he's producing, as he leads the Angels with four HRs and 15 hits.

    Being able to get on base for other solid hitters like Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu is crucial, because it forces pitchers to have less room for error.

    Without Kendrick, then Abreu and Hunter would see a decrease in productivity.

Matt Kemp: CF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 28 HRs, 89 RBI, 150 hits, .249 average.

    FIELDING: Three assists, two double-plays, 330 put-puts, five errors, .985 percentage.

    Led the Dodgers in HRs and RBI in 2010, while currently leading them with a .472 BA, .578 OBP and 17 hits.

    While in the field, errors are rare and maintaining consistency in the outfield is key.

    With the Rockies and Giants in the same division, L.A. will need Kemp to drive in those runs.

    Because when it gets late in the games, battling pitchers like Brian Wilson will need to be players like Kemp.

Ryan Braun: LF, Milwaukee Brewers

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 25 HRs, 103 RBI, 188 hits, .304 average. 

    FIELDING: Six assists, one double-play, 279 put-outs, three errors, .99 percentage

    Led team in BA and hits last year, and now is the current HR leader on the Brew Crew with four.

    Each season Braun has gotten the job done and been a very consistent player for the Brewers.

    He also is a solid outfielder with 15 put-outs and no errors thus far in 2011.

    Along with player such as Prince Fielder, Mark Kotsay and Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee has the pieces to contend in the NL Central.

    However, without Braun they would lose an All-Star that would definitely put a damper in the lineup.

Joe Mauer: C, Minnesota Twins

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: Nine HRs, 75 RBI, 167 hits, .327 average.

    FIELDING: 34 assists, three double-plays, 696 put-outs, three errors, .996 percentage.

    After another All-Star season in Minnesota, Joe Mauer led the Twins in BA and OBP.

    However, the Twins' 4-7 start could be attributed to the slow start of Mauer.

    Currently he's only batting .235 with four RBI and eight hits through 11 games (but has only played in nine).

    That said, if something is wrong, don't be surprised, because Mauer is much, much better than this.

David Wright: 3B, New York Mets

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 29 HRs, 103 RBI, 166 hits, .283 average.

    FIELDING: 321 assists, 34 double-plays, 110 put-outs, 20 errors, .956 percentage. 

    Coming off a fifth consecutive All-Star season, David Wright led the Mets in HRs, RBI and OBP.

    This year he is their HR leader, but it's only two through 10 games.

    However, he is batting .325 with 13 hits and eight RBI.

    On the diamond he has 12 assists, five put-outs and only one error, but reducing the 20 errors from 2010 is important.

    If Wright goes down, the Mets lose arguably their best player, so making sure he stays healthy is vital.

Robinson Cano: 2B, New York Yankees

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 29 HRs, 109 RBI, 200 hits, .319 average.

    FIELDING: 432 assists, 114 double-plays, 341 put-outs, three errors .996 percentage.

    With his performance on the diamond and at the plate in 2010, Cano earned his second All-Star selection and his first Gold Glove.

    In 2011, he leads the Yanks with a .324 BA and 12 hits through nine games.

    He also has 18 put-outs and 19 assists, as well as just one error.

    Last season he was in the running for AL MVP, so don't be surprised if that happens again.

    However, if an injury occurs, it is the Yanks, so they most likely will have a solid replacement.

    But, the replacement will also most likely not be as good as Cano.

Josh Willingham: LF, Oakland Athletics

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 16 HRs, 56 RBI, 99 hits, .268 average.

    FIELDING: Seven assists, two double-plays, 164 put-outs, one error, .994 percentage.

    With the Washington Nationals in 2010, Willingham was a solid component despite only playing in 114 games.

    Now in Oakland for 2011, he leads the way with three HRs and seven RBI through 12 games.

    Defensively, he has seen time in 10 games (nine starts) with 15 put-outs and no errors.

    For the A's to fight off the Angels and Mariners to keep up with the Rangers, Willingham needs to continue to produce.

    However, if he goes down, Oakland loses a key young aspect to their team, so having him in that regard, as well as depth, is crucial.

Ryan Howard: 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 31 HRs, 108 RBI, 152 hits, .276 average.

    FIELDING: 59 assists, 117 double-plays, 1,266 put-outs, 14 errors .99 percentage.

    His 31 HRs and 108 RBI led Philly in 2010, and he once again leads those categories in 2011 (three HRs and 12 RBI).

    However, he is leading the Phils with a .400 OBP as well.

    He's also doing well 90 feet from home plate; 96 put-outs, four assists and eight double-plays thus far.

    If an injury occurs to "The Big Piece," then a "big piece" of the puzzle will be missing for the Phillies.

    That said, they will definitely need him if they are to make another run at the World Series.

Andrew McCutchen: CF, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 16 HRs, 56 RBI, 163 hits, .286 average. 

    FIELDING: Eight assists, two double-plays, 373 put-outs, five errors, .987 percentage. 

    For the average baseball fan (outside of Pittsburgh), if there is a player they know of on the Pirates, chances are it is Andrew McCutchen.

    In 2010 he led the Bucs' in BA, OBP and hits.

    To this point in 2011 however, he only has a .231 BA and six RBI with nine hits.

    It'll be interesting to see if McCutchen can pick it up, but if the Pirates lose him to injury then it's back to square one.

    They have youth and talent, so maintaining McCutchen will only make them that much better.

Nick Hundley: C, San Diego Padres

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: Eight HRs, 43 RBI, 68 hits, .249 average.

    FIELDING: 28 assists, four double-plays, 632 put-outs, four errors, .994 percentage.

    Despite only appearing in 85 games last season, Nick Hundley proved himself to be a solid contributor for the Padres.

    So far in 2011 he leads them with a .406 BA, .487 OBP, two homers, eight RBI and 13 hits.

    He also has 62 put-outs and only one error.

    As the main catcher for San Diego, Hundley has to have a certain chemistry with all the pitchers.

    Therefore, any injury to him would be detrimental to their chances at contesting for the NL West.

Aubrey Huff: 1B, San Francisco Giants

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 26 HRs, 86 RBI, 165 hits, .290 average.

    FIELDING: 60 assists, 56 double-plays, 881 put-outs, three errors, .999 percentage.

    Coming off the World Series championship season, Aubrey Huff led the Giants in BA, HRs, RBI, OBP and hits.

    Thus far in 2010 he's lacking with a .233 average and seven RBI.

    However, the season is young, so he definitely has time to get back on track.

    And, if any injury occurs, chances are it'll be a long season for him and it will only be more difficult for San Fran to repeat.

Ichiro Suzuki: RF, Seattle Mariners

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: Six HRs, 43 RBI, 214 hits, .315 average.

    FIELDING: Seven assists, one double-play, 354 put-outs, four errors, .989 percentage.

    Think of the face of the Seattle Mariners since the 21st century began—can you visualize them without Ichiro?

    Other than Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson, Suzuki is arguably the best player in franchise history.

    That said, he not only played all 162 games in 2010, but also led Seattle in BA, OBP and hits.

    He's off to a rare slow start in 2011, batting only .245, however you know he's going to turn things around.

    But, if an injury does happen to Ichiro it will quickly doom any shot for contention at the AL West.

Albert Pujols: 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 42 HRs, 118 RBI, 183 hits, .312 average.

    FIELDING: 157 assists, 146 double-plays, 1,458 put-outs, four errors, .998 percentage.

    Arguably the best player in the bigs, Albert Pujols is also easily the face of the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Through 11 games in 2011 however, he is only batting .200 with four RBI and nine hits.

    There's no question that Albert will soon start to dominate, but if he does not, then maybe an injury occurred.

    When? Who knows, but for as consistent as he's played his whole career, a player like him just doesn't hit a wall.

    That said, if Pujols does in fact get injured, it's only going to make winning the division that much more difficult.

Evan Longoria: 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 22 HRs, 104 RBI, 169 hits, .294 average

    FIELDING: 276 assists, 46 double-plays, 127 put-outs, 14 errors, .966 percentage.

    With Longoria on the 15-day DL, it's no reason why the Rays have gotten off to a rough start.

    Now, when he gets back it will definitely be a confidence booster.

    However, patience is key as the switch won't just flip on a moment's notice.

    Therefore, as long as Longoria can gradually get back into the mix, then Tampa Bay should make the AL East even more interesting.

Josh Hamilton: LF, Texas Rangers

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 32 HRs, 100 RBI, 186 hits, .359 average.

    FIELDING: Nine assists, two double-plays, 254 put-outs, four errors, .989 percentage.

    After winning the AL MVP in 2010, Josh Hamilton and the Rangers came sprinting out of the gates.

    However, every Ranger fan gasped when Hamilton went down and is now day-to-day.

    It will be very interesting to see how Texas responds, but if they have trouble like they did last season without him (19-10), then it should come as no surprise.

Jose Bautista: RF, Toronto Blue Jays

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 54 HRs, 124 RBI, 148 hits, .260 average.

    FIELDING: 112 assists, 12 double-plays, 232 put-outs, seven errors, .988 percentage.

    Jose led the Blue Jays in HRs, RBI and OBP last year.

    Not to mention, he led the majors with his 54 homers.

    Once again in 2011, he leads the Blue Jays in home runs (three) and has 17 put-outs with two assists and one error.

    If Jose comes down with an injury, it will be that much tougher for them to get through the AL East.

    So, if you're a Blue Jays fan (with Boston and Tampa Bay currently struggling), 2011 has become an even better opportunity.

Ryan Zimmerman: 3B, Washington Nationals

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    2010 STATS

    BATTING: 25 HRs, 85 RBI, 161 hits, .307 average.

    FIELDING: 242 assists, 23 double-plays, 85 put-outs, 17 errors, .951 percentage.

    After leading the Nationals in BA, OBP and hits in 2010, Zimmerman also leads them in those same categories thus far for 2011 (.357 BA, .486 OBP and 10 hits).

    On the diamond he has 13 assists and seven put-outs, but only one error.

    However, since he's on the 15-day DL, the Nats' need to minimize their damage, so once he returns they can hit the ground running.

    2011 has it's opportunities, but if Zimmerman is out for any longer, it may be a repeat of 2010.