Walking wounded: Can these MLB teams overcome their injuries?
Injuries are just as much a part of baseball as rain delays and blown calls. Nobody likes them, but they’re just part of the game.
In a 162-game season, teams take turns dealing with the injury bug, which is why this time of the year is going to be very important to a handful of beat up clubs. After the All-Star break, teams will have a little more than two weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
So, right now they’re evaluating where they are and deciding what they need to do at the trade deadline. A lot of that has to do with the injuries they’re dealing with.
Here are three teams that have been hammered by injuries this season and a look at whether they can turn it around in the second half.
All stats compiled prior to Wednesday’s action.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 45-37, +5.88 units
The Dodgers jumped out of the gate this year by winning nine of their first 10 games. Then Matt Kemp’s hamstring started acting up and Los Angeles’ offense went in the crapper. Andre Either, who is now out with an oblique injury, has struggled without any protection in the lineup and the Dodgers continue to search for another bat.
Meanwhile, Ted Lilly has just landed on the 60-day DL, so L.A. may also be in the market for another starter. Heading into Wednesday’s action the Dodgers were still tied for first in the NL West, so there’s no reason to think they won’t be able to turn it up again in the second half.
New York Yankees: 48-32, +5.09 units
Despite injuries to C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlin, Mariano Rivera, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, the Yankees hold a six-game lead at the top of the AL East after going 20-7 in June.
With a patchwork rotation and the amount of chalk the Bombers see on a daily basis, it’s hard to see them being a good bet after the break unless they make a major splash to pick up a couple of experienced and reliable arms before the deadline. Robinson Cano can’t carry them forever.
Philadelphia Phillies: 37-46, -20.20 units
The Phillies barely had a chance to begin the season with Ryan Howard out with his Achillies injury and then Chase Utley hit the shelf with a bad knee. To make matters worse, very few of the club’s veterans pulled their weight early in the season. Vance Worley has been pitching with pain in his elbow all year and Roy Halladay has been out since the end of May with his shoulder injury.
Maybe the Phillies cut into this huge deficit they’ve piled on their supporters, but coming back from 12 games out in the competitive NL East seems very unlikely. At this point, the Phillies look old and out of contention.