MLB Power Rankings: The 5 Most Injury-Plagued Teams in MLB
The injury bug can break your season in the blink of an eye. Some stars you know it is just a matter of time before they make a DL stint, but sometimes freak accidents happen and your teams is left with a major void on their roster.
This year has been no stranger to injuries as some big names have been sidelined for extended periods of time.
Teams can show their grit by battling through this injuries if players can step their game up the next level. Others on the other hand just seem to the wind taken out of their sail and their season is completely derailed.
5. San Francisco Giants
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The defending champions started off the season on the wrong foot.
Their bearded wonder Brian Wilson was MIA to start the season after suffering an oblique strain in spring training. Next, often-injured outfielder Andres Torres strained his Achilles and has not been able to grace the diamond after a break out 2010 campaign.
It is a shame that a team that came out of no where and took home the crown is dealing with such injury problems this early in the season.
After dealing with issues regarding his weight, Pablo Sandoval was looking to return to form in 2011 and was right on track. Through 24 games, Sandoval was hitting .313 with five home runs. On a slide, Sandoval injured his wrist which required surgery and will be out of the lineup for the next four to six weeks.
The Giants are also dealing with injuries to Mark DeRosa and had a scare with Matt Cain, but he is injury free.
With the injuries piling up, San Francisco is faltering slightly and are sitting at 16-16 and in second place in the tough NL West.
4. Philadelphia Phillies
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The Phillies have been without their closer Brad Lidge and All-Star second baseman Chase Utleysince the beginning of the season. This club would be much higher on this list if they were not firing on all cylinders without their studs. As of today, they are sitting pretty with a 21-10 record, good enough for best in the majors.
Jose Contreras was suppose to be come in and fill the hole in the closer role, but he went down with an injury not too long after he took over closer duties.
It seems as if the Phillies rotation has been taken some hits as of late. Coming into the season, the names of Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels were looking to ink their names as the most dominant four-some we have seen in a quite some time. Roy Oswalt has not been able to make his last starts after taking a leave of absence to tend to his family and now he is dealing with a strained back.
The man behind the dish, Carlos Ruiz, has also fell victim to the same fate.
Other notables who are nursing some ailments are Joe Blanton and Placido Polanco.
The Phillies have been playing some strong baseball even without some of their best players. With Utley rehabbing in the minors—in his first extended spring training game, he went 5-7 with two home runs—it is only a matter of time before this club gets that much better.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
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The last thing you want with a new manager at the helm is a team full of injuries. You want to be able to have your studs in your lineup every day to alleviate the pressure that comes with being a first year coach.
Don Mattingly has not had that luxury this season.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal has been out for quiet some time with a broken thumb that he suffered on a head first slide into third and just recenlty, closer Jonathan Broxton hit the DL with an elbow injury. Casey Blake has also sustained an elbow injury and adds to the ever growing list of everyday players out of action for Mattingly.
The Dodgers currently reside in third place in the NL West with a 15-18 record. Even though Andre Ethier is stealing the headlines for the club, it is hard to look over the fact that left side of the infield is out of commission.
2. Texas Rangers
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After beating the Yankees in the ALCS and making their first trip to the World Series in 2010, the Rangers came out of the gate on fire. They started out winning nine of their first 10 games, but the wheels have fallen off as of late.
It seemed as if it was only a matter of time before of few of these names headed to the DL.
Against the Tigers, Josh Hamilton tried to tag-up from third on a pop out in foul territory near third base. Since no one was covering home, Hamilton—with instructions from his third base coach—broke for home and broke a bone in his shoulder sliding head first.
Since that fairly dumb play, Neftali Feliz, the young closer, has joined him on the DL and as of today, so has Nelson Cruz with a quad strain.
The Rangers rotation took a hit after Cliff Lee took his talents to Philly, and injuries have plagued the rest of the staff and bullpen from last year's championship team. Tommy Hunter has yet to pitch this season, and neither have the newly acquired Brandon Webb. The bullpen is missing Darren O'Day as well.
This team, when healthy, can really make some noise, but until they get their stars healthy, the AL West could be up for grabs.
1. Minnesota Twins
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The Minnesota Twins have owned the AL Central for the last ten years. During that span, they have taken the home the division title six times including the last two seasons. It seems as if we are having a changing of the guard in the Central in 2011 though.
The Twins do not have the most players on their DL in the majors, but the names on that list are tough for Minnesota faithful to swallow.
Star catcher Joe Mauer has been out for a majority of the young season and is still a few weeks away from returning after battling leg weakness. He has lost nearly 20 pounds due to his condition. It has hard to hold your head high when your leader is missing from the diamond and the club house.
Delmon Young is suffering from an oblique strain but is nearing a return. He had a breakout year in 2010, hitting .298 with 21 HR and 112 RBI and helping pick up the slack with Morneau out of the lineup with a concussion.
Speaking of Morneau, he is struggling this year and doesn't seem to be his old self after losing half of 2010 due to a concussion.
Newly acquired Tsuyoshi Nishioka has not been able to showcase his abilities after breaking his league in a game against the Yankees earlier this season.
The Twins can be a great team when they are healthy, but the injury bug has really bitten this squad hard.