All-Star Studded Injury Report + Chipper Jones Retirement Effect On The Braves
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Monday, April 1/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
The start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season is upon us. While that is beyond awesome, unfortunately there is a list of really good players who will likely not start the season playing for a Major League team. Most of these players are out due to injury, but there are also a few others I would like to mention that are out due to retirement, suspension, or the fact that they have still yet to sign with a team.
It will be a bittersweet Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves who will be without Chipper Jones this season. He spent his entire 19 years of Major League service time with the Braves, and after an MVP season in 1999, a 1995 World Series Championship, and 8 All-Star appearances, Chipper has decided to call it a career. Jones was one of, if not the best, switch hitter of all time.
Chipper Jones Highlights
He was a beloved player across the MLB and certainly in Atlanta. Happy retirement to Chipper, he deserves it. The Braves will also be without their starting Catcher Brian McCann until at least late April as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Kyle Lohse just signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as I’m sure a lot of you have heard. Now that leaves Brian Wilson as the big unsigned former All-Star to talk about. Wilson a 3x All-Star (as recently as ’11) underwent his 2nd Tommy John surgery at the beginning of the 2012 season.
Wilson is still just 31 years of age, and the owner of 171 Career Saves, so I believe there will be a lot of interest when he is ready to come back. Wilson has said he doesn’t want to audition for teams until he is 100%, which he is approaching, but not yet at.
It will still probably be a few weeks before he starts working out for teams, but he will land somewhere with a chance to contribute to a big league bullpen. You might expect to hear some news about him right around the start of May.
There are a few players suspended to start the 2013, but by far the most significant is Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies. Ruiz is eligible to return April 28th after being suspended 25 games for testing positive for amphetamines. Ruiz made his 1st All-Star appearance in 2012. He has been a strong backstop for the Philadelphia Phillies since ’07 and will be vital if they hope to challenge the Nationals and Braves for the NL East.
As far as injuries go there are some players who are definitely out to start the season and some that are questionable for it. Among those definitely out to start the season is Hanley Ramirez. For those who watched the World Baseball Classic, or just keep up with baseball, you may have heard he tore ligaments in his thumb diving for a ball during the WBC (just 4 innings from the end of the tournament) and will be out until at least late May.
The LA Dodgers are stacked with talent, but Ramirez will be missed. People will continue to point at the WBC as a potential threat to the health of Major Leaguers playing in it.
The Mets David Wright was also injured in the WBC, but his injury seems minor and isn’t expected to keep him out for Opening Day. I still say an injury at the WBC is just as likely to happen in Spring Training, but if it happens to one of “your” players I’m sure it’s not as easy to think that way.
Interesting to me, the 2 teams who will start the season with the most All-Stars injured are the 2 teams who lost in the 2012 LCS’s. The Yankees and Cardinals have some pretty major injuries to start 2013.
The Yankees Captain Derek Jeter had a pretty gruesome ankle injury in the 2012 playoffs that is still not 100% and he is doubtful for the start of the season. I wouldn’t be concerned with him missing a few games, but my worry would be that this injury lingers. The hobbled Yankees will need Jeter’s leadership on the field to keep up in a tough AL East.
After Jeter the news only gets worse. Alex Rodriguez is out until at least mid-July with another hip injury. This could possibly keep A-Rod out the entire 2013 season, and cripple his performance if and when he returns.
Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are both out until at least early May due to a back and forearm injuries respectively. Phil Hughes is expected to be placed on the 15 day DL to start the season with a back problem. Michael Pineda is going to be out until at least early June and possibly until the All-Star break continuing to recover from his shoulder surgery from May last year. This is 4 starting position players, and 2 starting pitchers on the shelf to start the year for the Yankees. Not good.
The Cardinals have some pretty tough injury news too. Chris Carpenter is likely out for the season with a recurring neck and arm problem. Carpenter helped the Cardinals win World Series in 2006 and 2011, putting the team on his back in the latter postseason. At 38, some fear it’s the end of the line for Carpenter who has been one of the best competitors in baseball in recent times.
Rafael Furcal, another integral part of the Cards 2011 Championship is coming off Tommy John surgery and likely won’t be ready until September. David Freese and Jason Motte are also likely out for some part of the 1st month of the season. The Cardinals have a deep organization which will cover them for the time these players are out, but Carpenters loss will hurt enormously come October should St. Louis see the playoffs.
Some of the latest injury news regards the New York Mets and the 1st pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter for the organization, Johan Santana. The news is not good. After already knowing he would be out for part of the 2013 season, it now looks like Santana’s shoulder will keep him out the entire season. After trading R.A. Dickey this offseason, Santana was the only veteran leader they could really count on in their rotation, but now the Mets season outlook went from already bad, to even worse.
Santana may have been the best pitcher on the planet for a stretch from ’04-’08 tossing 219+ IP each year only having an ERA over 3 once in that span.
The AL West is another tough division, and the Rangers ran it in 2010-2011 winning the division and AL Pennant both years. 2012 they took a step back only securing a wild card berth. Feliz was a big part of the ’10-’11 Rangers as a lights out closer in just his 1st two seasons in the Majors. He was then converted to a Starter in 2012, then required Tommy John surgery in August, which means he will probably be out until this August. The Rangers plan to use him as a reliever again, at least for this season when he comes back.
In April of 2012, the then Kansas City Royals pitcher Joakim Soria had Tommy John surgery as well. The Rangers are looking at the end of May as a timetable for his return right now. A healthy Feliz and Soria coming back mid-season could be race changing additions for the Rangers out West, they have that type of ability.
I’ll go through some quick hitters as far as injury updates now. I already wrote a full article about Corey Hart being out until possibly May with a knee injury, for further elaboration search his name for the article on the site. Grady Sizemore is once again injured which is commonplace at this point. It is his back right now which will keep him in the dugout until at least early July for Cleveland.
Chase Headley of the Padres is out until at least mid-April with a thumb injury. Headley was one of the big surprises of 2012 as he finished 5th in NL MVP voting with no real signs foreshadowing the performance. Nick Markakis is probable for the start of the Baltimore Orioles season with a neck injury. Neck injuries are one of those injuries that would have me worried about linger effects, hopefully for the Orioles sake and Markakis’ this will not be the case.
One finals injury to talk about is that of David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox DH. He is “doubtful” for the start of the season, with an Achilles injury. With the new look Red Sox lineup, Ortiz become even more integral than years past, so his return will be eagerly awaited. On top of that Ortiz just got a fairly rich multi-year contract that will bring expectations of production.
This injury forced Ortiz to miss from mid-July on, of 2012 (excluding 1 game in late August). Not to beat a dead horse, but this is an injury that has signs saying it could affect Ortiz past his return which will hopefully not be too far removed from Opening Day.
There are a bunch of big injuries around the MLB to start the season. I tried to keep the article directed more towards the “big name” players, with more serious injuries with implications for their team’s chances in 2013.
You’ve been caught up on the major news on the topic. There is a list just as long of guys who are out that are also very good and important players for their teams, but I don’t want to bore the readers to death, then no one would be able to read future articles. Comment with any thoughts you have about these injuries or if you think I had an unforgivable emission to this list.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to our baseball writer Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article. Ryan is junior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University. He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14. Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter . Follow @ryandana1.
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Posted on April 1, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @ryandana1 on twitter, alex rodriguez, Brian McCann, brian wilson, cardinals, carlos ruiz, chipper jones, chris carpenter, corey hart, curtis granderson, david freese, david ortiz, david wright, derek jeter, grady sizemore, hanley ramirez, injury, jason motte, joakim soria, johan santana, kyle lohse, mark teixeira, michael pineda, mlb, neftali feliz, nick markakis, opening day, phil hughes, ra dickey, rafael furcal, ryan dana, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.