The baseball MASH unit seems to be bulging at the seams.
The Seattle Mariners, who have stayed within striking distance of AL West front-running Houston, had a significant injury rain on their parade this weekend.
Eight time All-Star Robinson Cano, who is fourth on the Mariners in RBI with 23 and second in on base percentage at .385, broke a bone in his right hand and could be out at least a month. He is seeing a hand specialist on Tuesday and said that it is broken “pretty bad.”
He has been hitting in the three-hole this year and has been as productive as usual. Light hitting middle infielder Andrew Romine will be taking his place, at least temporarily.
The M’s injury woes aren’t nearly as bad as about eight to 10 other squads looking at thinning benches.
We’ve had a look at the exhaustive list of those on various lengths of stays on the disabled list and come up with one significant injury for each team. Other less significant injuries will be included at the end in italics with injury and earliest possible date of return.
30. Arizona Diamondbacks – SP Taijuan Walker
The injury bug has bitten the D-Backs pretty hard this season, but judging by their place in the standings, not too hard. Arizona is 24-16 and in first place in the NL West, however, they have had to do without the services of some quality starters for varying lengths of time. The most consequential is the season-ending injury sustained by promising young starter Taijuan Walker. After a good first season with ‘Zona in 2017 after coming over from Seattle (9-9 in 28 starts, 3.49 ERA, 146 strikeouts), Walker suffered a partially torn UCL just three starts this year and had successful Tommy John Surgery late in April. With fireballer Robbie Ray also shelved until at last May 25 with an oblique injury, the depth of the Diamondbacks rotation will be severely tested. Other injuries: SP Shelby Miller (Elbow, June 26); 3B Jake Lamb (Shoulder, May 20); RP Randall Delgado (Oblique, May 23).
29. Atlanta Braves – SP Anibal Sanchez
The Braves are the surprise team of the NL East as of Monday, leading the Phillies by a game for first place. That is why they can’t sustain too many more injuries like that suffered by veteran hurler Anibal Sanchez. He’s still on the disabled list for a hamstring strain that happened during pre-game warm-ups in mid-April. After two seasons of relative mediocrity in Detroit, Sanchez bounced back admirably this year prior to his injury, going 1-0 in two starts, with a 1.29 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings. Young pitchers Michael Soroka and Matt Wisler have filled in well, but Sanchez’s veteran arm will be welcome back, as early as May 21. Other injuries: SS Dansby Swanson (Wrist, May 21); RP Jose Ramirez (Shoulder, May 16); RP Grant Dayton (Elbow, Out For Season).
28. Baltimore Orioles – RP Zach Britton
There is a big, black cloud circling around northern Maryland and it’s raining like heck on Camden Yards. As of Monday, the O’s owned the worst record in the AL East at 13-28, with little relief in sight. They have eight major leaguers on the disabled list from a variety of positions, the most notable being reliever Zach Britton’s ruptured Achilles. The O’s premier closer the last four seasons (135 saves in 242 appearances) has not yet pitched this season and is only eligible to come off the disabled list on May 28. He will have to do a rehab assignment, which means he won’t like be available until at the minimum the first week of June. With Britton out of the line-up, it’s been closer by committee, with Brad Brach converting on five of six opportunities. Mychal Givens (1-for-2) and Darren O’Day (2-for-4) are the other spot closers. Other injuries: 3B Tim Beckham (Groin, June 23); DH Pedro Alvarez (Hamstring, May 15); SP Chris Tillman (Back, May 25); RP Darren O’Day (Elbow, May 16); RP Gabriel Ynoa (Shoulder, May 26).
27. Boston Red Sox – 2B Dustin Pedroia
One of Boston’s biggest leaders has not played a single game this season and it’s hardly affected the team’s performance in the AL East. Bsoton has to be heartened by the fact that 2008 MVP and four-time Gold Glover Dustin Pedroia is starting a rehab stint with AAA Pawtucket this week after recovering from off-season knee surgery. Pedroia played in just 105 games last season due to lingering knee problems, but still managed to hit .293 with seven homers and 62 RBI. He is expected to be out until at least May 25. In his stead, utility man Eduardo Nunez has done a pretty good job at the plate and a great job in the field. As the everyday second sacker, he is hitting .239 with 12 extra base hits and 10 RBI in 35 games. In the field he has made just one error on 97 total chances. Other injuries: INF Marco Hernandez (Shoulder, May 29); RP Tyler Thornburg (Shoulder, May 18); RP Austin Maddox (Shoulder, May 14).
26. Chicago Cubs – SP Drew Smyly
With Yu Darvish struggling to find his groove in the Cubs rotation — and he’s just getting back from the DL after going down with the flu — Chicago sure could use back-of-the-rotation guy Smyly. The Cubs acquired him last December, knowing full well that he hadn’t pitched since 2016 with Tampa Bay and had undergone Tommy John Surgery. Through five seasons with Detroit and Tampa Bay, the lanky lefty appeared 156 games (85 starts), logging a 31-27 record, 3.74 ERA and 552 strikeouts in 570.1 innings. The Cubs sit fourth in a tightly packed NL Central at 21-16, just one game behind Milwaukee (24-17). Smyly isn’t expected to be back until Aug. 1 at the earliest and if completely healthy, will slot in nicely either as a fifth starter or in long relief. Other injuries: RP Eddie Butler (Groin, May 18); Yu Darvish (Illness, May 15); RF Jason Heyward (Concussion, May 15).
25. Chicago White Sox – RF Avisail Garcia
Little wonder the Chisox are in last place overall in major league baseball with a horrid 10-27 record. They are near dead last in run production and have been without 2017 All-Star right fielder Avisail Garcia for the last three weeks. Garcia tweaked a hamstring around April 23 and won’t be returning until May 19 at the earliest. Before he went down he was hitting a sub-par .233 with a homer and four RBI in 18 games. However, if he can get back to his 2017 production that saw him hit .330, with 50 extra base hits and 80 RBI in 136 games, it can’t come fast enough. In his stead, back-up outfielder Leury Garcia has done a decent job, with a .256 batting average and 10 RBI in 30 games. Otherwise, the Sox have also been without 2B Yoan Moncada for a short bit (he can return May 15). He was third in RBI with 15 before also hurting a hamstring. Other injuries: SP Miguel Gonzalez (Shoulder, May 28); RP Danny Farquhar (Head, Out For Season); SP Carlos Rodon (Shoulder, May 28).
24. Cincinnati Reds – RP Michael Lorenzen
It really is a good thing that the NL Central bottom feeding Reds disabled list is fairly empty. None of the three listed on it have played at all this year, and one of them, SP Anthony DeSclafani, hasn’t pitched since 2016. The most noteworthy absence among the hobbled troika is that of right handed reliever Michael Lorenzen. He had a shoulder injury that has kept him out all year and is at AA Pensacola this week on a rehab assignment. He had a big year in 2017, appearing in a career high 70 games and posting a 8-4 record and two saves. He also registered a 4.45 ERA, 1.349 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 83 innings pitched. Over the course of his three-year career, Lorenzen has appeared in 132 games, going 14-14, with a 4.57 ERA and 211 K’s in 246.1 innings. Other injuries: SP Rookie Davis (Hip, July 13); SP Anthony DeSclafani (Oblique, May 28).
23. Cleveland Indians – SP Danny Salazar
How good would Danny Salazar’s now dormant arm look in the Indians rotation? The Tribe are in first place in a mediocre AL Central and could be doing a whole lot better than 20-19. Fireballing Salazar, an All-Star in 2016, last pitched on Sept. 27 last year and his shoulder injury is expected to keep him out until May 29 at the earliest. As it was, he started just 19 games last year, also making four relief appearances, logging a 5-6 record, with a 4.28 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 103 innings. In his All-Star season, Salazar went 11-6 in 25 starts, with a 3.87 ERA and 161 K’s in 137.1 innings. He was diagnosed with impingement tendinitis in his throwing shoulder and had a PRP injection last week. Other injuries: RP Ryan Merritt (Shoulder, June 1); CF Bradley Zimmer (Chest, May 14); RF Tyler Naquin (Hamstring, May 22); RP Nick Goody (Elbow, May 22); RF Lonnie Chisenhall (Calf, May 15); RP Cody Anderson (Elbow, May 28).
22. Colorado Rockies – RP Carlos Estevez
As injuries to “premier” players go, the Rockies have had good luck so far in 2018. Big righthanded reliever Carlos Estevez, among a group of three young bullpen hands currently on the DL, is the most high profile. Out until at least May 28 with an elbow injury, Estevez saw action in 98 games over the last two seasons, but none so far this year. In those 98 games, he went 8-7 with 11 saves, a 5.36 ERA, 1.500 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 87.1 innings. In his lone appearance in the NL wild card last season, Estevez was tagged for one hit and an earned run, while recording one strikeout. The Rockies, currently in second in the NL West, could probably use some inning eating from Estevez, as they are 20th in team ERA at 4.39 and 11th in total strikeouts with 353 in 363 innings. Other injuries: RP Zac Rosscup (Finger, May 27).
21. Detroit Tigers – 1B Miguel Cabrera
Other than one game, Miggy has missed most of May with a hamstring injury, which has seen the Tigers go 6-6 to sit 17-22, three games back of Cleveland as of Monday. The Tigers, who have hit just 34 homers — only three more than Miami which has a MLB low 31 — need Cabrera’s bat in the line-up. And they need it to boom, considering they sit middle of the pack in runs with 173. The NL Central is completely winnable and a healthy — and productive — Cabrera can keep them in the hunt. The two-time MVP and 11-time All-Star has been quiet by his standards the last two years after ripping 38 homers and driving in 108 in 2016. Over 156 games between 2017 and 2018, he has just 19 homers and 81 RBI. He is, however, hitting .321 this season, with 21 RBI. The team has also been without productive batters Leonys Martin and Nick Castellanos for short periods lately, too. Other injuries: SP Jordan Zimmerman (Shoulder, May 21); CF Martin (Hamstring, May 18); RF Castellanos (Finger, May 14); RP Alex Wilson (Foot, May 21); RP Daniel Norris (Groin, June 25).
20. Houston Astros – RF George Springer
The ‘Stros aren’t running away with the AL West and any time a big star like Springer goes down, even for a short period, it’s not good. For the most part, Houston has been able to avoid many man games lost to injury, but it’s a long season. Springer, a first time All-Star and Silver Slugger award winner in 2017, was hit on the elbow by a pitch from the Texas Rangers’ Cole Hamels last Friday and missed a couple of games with a contusion and is listed day-to-day. Springer was a monster in the playoffs last year, especially in the World Series, where he was named MVP after hitting .379, with five homers and seven RBI in seven games. In 40 games this season, Springer is batting .296, with 18 extra base hits and 26 RBI. Other injuries: RP Brady Rodgers (Elbow, June 1); RP Jandel Gustave (Elbow, June 1). NOTE: Springer was cleared to play May 15.
19. Kansas City Royals – SP Nate Karns
It’s a lost year for the Kansas City Royals and not getting any better with a couple of decent young hurlers out for extended periods of time. One of them, burly righthander Nate Karns, is recovering from surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which causes tingling in the arm (indicating compressed nerves). The procedure to minimize its effects is called the “McRib” operation which involves removing a small rib to alleviate pressure on the neck, shoulder and arm. Karns, 30, has been in the majors off and on for five seasons and started eight of nine games for the Royals in 2017. He posted a 2-2 record, with a 4.17 ERA, 1.191 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 45.1 innings. Karns is expected to be out of the line-up until at least May 25 and hasn’t thrown in a big league game in almost a year. Other injuries: RP Justin Grimm (Back, May 18); SP Jesse Hahn (Elbow, May 29).
18. Los Angeles Angels – SP Matt Shoemaker
It’s not been a great two seasons for former Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Shoemaker. The Angels’ righthanded starter has made just 15 starts — one this year — since the beginning of 2017 and it looks like after another setback with his injured forearm is going to keep him from toeing the rubber until June 1 at the very minimum. In 2017, Shoemaker started 14 contests and fashioned a 6-3 record, along with a 4.52 ERA and 69 K’s in 77.2 innings. His last start, however, was on June 14 and lasted but three innings in an eventual 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees. His lone start this season came in the Angels third game of the season, a 8-3 thumping of the Oakland A’s. Shoemaker worked five and two-thirds innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs while striking out four and walking four. He was, though, shut down with a forearm strain on April 3. Other injuries: RP Keynan Middleton (Undisclosed, May 14); RP Blake Wood (Elbow, May 21); SP J.C. Ramirez (Elbow, Out For Season); SP Alex Meyer (Shoulder, Out For Season).
17. Los Angeles Dodgers – SP Clayton Kershaw and SS Corey Seager
The Dodgers injury woes are so catastrophic, we couldn’t pick just one significant player on the shelf. World Series finalists just a year ago, the Dodgers now find themselves in fourth place in the NL West at 16-24, with prospects for another post-season run dimming by the day. The biggest name to go down recently was Kershaw, who, after seven starts, was lost to a biceps injury that will keep him out of action until May 26, or beyond. He was 1-4 in those seven starts, with a 2.86 ERA (which says he didn’t get run support) and 48 strikeouts. The other big loss was Seager, who will miss the rest of this season, and maybe a chunk of the next, after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 26 games, the two-time All-Star shortstop was batting .267, with two homers and 13 RBI. L.A. could hardly afford to lose his considerable bat and defence. Other injuries: RP Adam Liberatore (Ankle, May 15); 3B Logan Forsythe (Shoulder, May 15); SP Rich Hill (Finger, May 19); 3B Justin Turner (Wrist, May 15); RP Tony Cingrani (Shoulder, May 19); SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (Groin, July 20).
16. Miami Marlins – 3B Brian Anderson
We could list all the injuries to Miami Marlins personnel, but after an off-season house-clearing of superstars, baseball fans won’t know who they are anyway. However, the Marlins have managed to win 14 games and by some miracle aren’t the worst team in baseball. Things, though, could get a lot worse if Brian Anderson is on the shelf for anything more than on a day by day basis. He hurt a finger on his right hand on Sunday in the eighth inning of a game against Atlanta and hopes to return Tuesday against the Dodgers. In 40 games, the second year pro is hitting .262, with 13 extra base hits and 19 RBI. Anderson’s battery mate on the left side of the infield, Miguel Rojas, also exited Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch. He is also listed as day-to-day. Other injuries: RP Odrisamer Despaigne (Forearm, May 19); RP Chris O’Grady (Shoulder, May 19); RP Javy Guerra (Undisclosed, May 23); RF Garrett Cooper (Wrist, June 1).
15. Milwaukee Brewers – SP Zach Davies
Somehow, some way, the Milwaukee Brewers are maintaining the slimmest of leads on three clubs chasing them in the NL Central. They own a 24-17 record and will have to do without the services of good young starters like Davies, Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson. We picked Davies, who will be out until at least May 22 with a shoulder injury, since he was the staff ace in 2017. He recorded a career best 17-9 record in a team high 33 starts, to go with a 3.90 ERA and 1.354 WHIP. This year, before shoulder inflammation sidelined him, Davies was 2-3 in six starts with a 4.24 ERA. Anderson and Nelson, who had lower ERA’s than Davies in 2017, also won 12 games each last season. Nelson hasn’t pitched this year yet due to a shoulder injury and won’t be back until July 5, while Anderson was 3-3 in eight starts before being shut down due to an undisclosed illness (he is scheduled to return on May 21). Other injuries: SP Wade Miley (Oblique, July 9); SS Nick Franklin (Quad, May 19); C Stephen Vogt (Shoulder, June 15); 1B Eric Thames (Thumb, June 8).
14. Minnesota Twins – SP Ervin Santana
There were a few heroes on the Twins roster in 2017 who helped the team make an improbable run to a wild card playoff spot. One of the biggest was veteran starter Ervin Santana, who at age 34 had one of his best seasons in a big league uniform. He started 33 games for the fourth time in his career and first time since 2011, going 16-8, with a 3.28 ERA, 1.126 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 211.1 innings. Santana had off-season surgery on a problematic finger and likely won’t be back until the first week of June, providing his upcoming rehab starts go well. Young Kyle Gibson, who has four quality starts in eight outings and is 1-1, has taken over temporarily as staff ace in Santana’s absence. Other injuries: C Jason Castro (Knee, June 30); RP Trevor May (Elbow, May 28); SP Adalberto Mejia (Finger, May 16); 3B Miguel Sano (Hamstring, May 14); SP Michael Pineda (Elbow, Sept. 1).
13. New York Mets – C Travis d’Arnaud
This one came down to who the replacement player is and we felt the season-ending injury to d’Arnaud would have a greater impact than the shorter term injury to 3B Todd Frazier (Hamstring, out until at least May 18). With 2017 starter d’Arnaud, out, it’s been a hodge podge of players behind the plate, including veteran Jose Lobaton, Tomas Nido, Kevin Plawecki and now Devin Mesoraco (acquired from the Reds). None will have the impact d’Arnaud had in a breakout season in 2017, when he hit .244 with a career highs in homers (16) and RBI (57). A decent defensive catcher with a career .994 fielding percentage and 21 percent success rate at throwing out would be base stealers, d’Arnaud played four games this year before injuring his UCL and having to undergo Tommy John surgery. Other injuries: RP Hansel Robles (Knee, May 19); 3B T.J. Rivera (Elbow, July 1); RP Anthony Swarzak (Oblique, June 2); 3B David Wright (Shoulder, June 1); SP Rafael Montero (Elbow, Out For Season).
12. New York Yankees – SP Jordan Montgomery
With at least three players topping 6’6″, we have to wonder if the Yankees could give the Knicks a run for their money in an exhibition game. One of those giants, second year starter and 6’6″ Jordan Montgomery, cuts an imposing figure on the mound for the Bombers, but will out of action due to an elbow strain until June 19, at minimum. Before he went down, Montgomery was good in six starts, going 2-2 with a 3.62 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 27.1 innings for the powerful Yanks. Overall in 35 big league starts, Montgomery is 11-7, with a 3.84 ERA. Long reliever/starter Domingo German has picked up the slack in Montgomery’s absence, putting in two starts, one a no-hit, nine-strikeout gem in six innings of work in a 7-4 win over Cleveland on May 6. Other injuries: RP Adam Warren (Back, May 25); 3B Brandon Drury (Impaired Vision, May 25); RP Tommy Kahnle (Shoulder, May 21); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (Hip, May 31); 1B Greg Bird (Ankle, May 23).
11. Oakland Athletics – SP Jharel Cotton
With the early season success of third-year starter Sean Manaea, who knows what could have been for fellow youngster and third-year pro Jharel Cotton. Manaea is the staff ace and has already thrown a no-hitter for the A’s this season after decent results in 2016 and 2017. Cotton, for his part, was pretty good in two seasons before having to undergo Tommy John surgery after experiencing elbow soreness during spring training. He was 11-10 over two seasons, with a 4.95 ERA, 1.326 WHIP and 128 strikeouts in 158.1 innings pitched. Another third-year hurler, Andrew Triggs, has shouldered some of the load from Cotton’s missed starts. He is 3-1 in eight outings, with a 5.31 ERA and 42 K’s in 39 innings for the 19-21 Athletics. Other injuries: RP Liam Hendriks (Groin, May 22); SP Paul Blackburn (Forearm, June 5); RP Ryan Buchter (Shoulder, May 28); SP Trevor Cahill (Elbow, May 16); CF Boog Powell (Knee, May 28).
10. Philadelphia Phillies – RP Pat Neshek
It does seem kind of odd that a team’s most significant injury is to a long reliever/set-up man. However, Pat Neshek is no ordinary long reliever/set-up man, in that he has been one of the game’s best since 2012 with Oakland. Acquired by Philly last year, Neshek was superb in 43 games with the team, logging a 3-2 record, 1.12 ERA, 0.818 WHIP and 45 strikeouts. During spring training, Neshek was put on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain, which later morphed into a forearm injury that won’t see him work out of the bullpen until at least June 5. Signed to a two-year, $16.5 million contract in December, the 37-year-old veteran was expected to put in yeoman’s work for a pitching staff that currently has the sixth lowest ERA at 3.44. Other injuries: SP Jerad Eickhoff (Lat, May 22); SS J.P. Crawford (Forearm, May 16); RP Victor Arano (Shoulder, May 17); RP Adam Morgan (Back, May 17); 3B Will Middlebrooks (Leg, June 15).
9. Pittsburgh Pirates – 2B Josh Harrison
How does a team replace an All-Star at second base? They don’t, they just platoon who they’ve got and keep their fingers crossed he comes back soon. The Pittsburgh Pirates have discovered what life is like without All-Star second sacker Josh Harrison and so far they haven’t done all that bad without him. They are half game back in the NL Central and according to reports Harrison, who injured his hand, could be back as early as May 19. He played 14 games this season before being hit on the hand by a pitch in mid-April, shutting him down 6-8 weeks with a broken bone. In 14 games before being shelved, Harrison was hitting .263 with a homer and five RBI. Third-year pro Adam Frazier (.231, two HR, five RBI in 37 total games) and veteran Sean Rodriguez have taken on the work vacated by Harrison. Other injuries: RP Enny Romero (Shoulder, May 19); SP Jameson Taillon (Finger, May 16); SP Joe Musgrove (Shoulder, May 22).
8. San Diego Padres – OF/1B Wil Myers
It took Wil Myers a while but after three seasons of part-time work in the majors, he finally put it all together in 2016 and 2017. The 2013 Rookie of the Year in Tampa bust out with the Padres, hitting 58 doubles, seven triples, 58 homers, stealing 48 bases and driving in 168 runs in 312 total games. He was an All-Star in 2016 and fielded superbly, making just 11 total errors in all games between first and the outfield. However, the injury bug bit him on April 28, when he suffered an oblique strain during a game against the Mets. Up to that point, Myers was hitting .300 in 10 games, nine of them in right field. He also had three doubles, a homer, three RBI and a stolen base. He will be out until at least May 18. Other injuries: SP Joey Lucchesi (Leg, May 21); C Austin Hedges (Elbow, May 21); RF Hunter Renfroe (Elbow, May 19); RP Phil Maton (Lat, May 23); SP Colin Rea (Lat, June 15).
7. San Francisco Giants – SP Madison Bumgarner
The next month to a month and a half is going to be interesting in the Bay area. Staff ace Madison Bumgarner is expected back by May 28 once his hand injury is completely healed. He hasn’t pitched in the bigs since last September, so to say his impending return is welcome is an understatement. By his own very lofty standards, 2017 was a disappointment — much like the rest of the squad — as Bumgarner went 4-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 17 starts. The news out of San Fran, however, is not all rosy. Johnny Cueto will be out until June 29 or later with an elbow injury. He was the staff’s best hurler through five starts, his last being on April 28. Cueto is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA and 0.690 WHIP. The Giants are 21-21 and still in the thick of things, but need to get healthy. Other injuries: RP Derek Law (Foot, May 21); 2B Alen Hanson (Hamstring, May 25); RF Mac Williamson (Concussion, May 18); RF Hunter Pence (Thumb, May 17); 2B Joe Panik (Thumb, June 11); RP Mark Melancon (Elbow, May 25).
6. Seattle Mariners – 2B Robinson Cano
The AL West is likely to be a dogfight right to the end. The Los Angeles Angels are vastly improved and in first, the defending champion Astros are right up there with them and even the Oakland A’s, in fourth at 20-21, can’t be counted out. Stuck in the middle of the pack are the M’s, who have been able to overcome mostly average pitching with some heavy hitting. But, eight-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger award winner Cano will be on the DL until June 10 or later with a broken finger suffered this past weekend. Reserve infielder Andrew Romine will have to hold the fort, but isn’t likely to produce like Cano, who had 23 RBI through 39 games. Other than Cano, though, the Mariners injury report is fairly short and the team should be able to weather the coming month without their star second sacker. Other injuries: SP Erasmo Ramirez (Shoulder, June 15); RP Ryan Garton (Hip, May 17); RP David Phelps (Elbow, Out For Season).
5. St. Louis Cardinals – C Yadier Molina
Offensively and defensively, Yadier Molina is arguably the best catcher in baseball. His groin injury, which will keep him out of the line-up until at least June 10, then, couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Cardinals are one game back of Milwaukee in the NL Central and won’t have the luxury of him handling the staff as he does, throwing out runners with ridiculous regularity (41 percent successful, lifetime), or pounding out hits and driving in runs. Specifically, Molina suffered a traumatic hematoma to his pelvic area and had to have surgery. He last played May 5 and at the time was hitting .272, with six homers and 17 RBI in 30 games. The eight time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner has been replaced by relatively untested youngsters Carson Kelly and Francisco Pena. Other injuries: SP Carlos Martinez (Lat, May 26); SP Adam Wainwright (Elbow, June 5); RP Tyler Lyons (Back, May 19); RP Alex Reyes (Elbow, May 28).
4. Tampa Bay Rays – CF Kevin Kiermaier
The AL East is a tough ‘hood to play in and without speedy centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier running down balls in the spacious Trop and getting things going offensively, it’s even tougher. Not that Mallex Smith is chopped liver in relief, but he’s not a two-time Gold Glover like Kiermaier (who has beaten out the likes of Mike Trout and Kevin Pillar for honors in 2015 and 2016). The veteran suffered torn ligament in his thumb during an early season game against Philadelphia and had to undergo surgery. He won’t be back in the line-up until June 17 or later. Kiermaier was off to a slow start offensively, hitting just .163 with one RBI and one stolen base in 12 games. Smith has been an upgrade offensively, batting .309 with eight RBI and nine stolen bases in 35 games. Other injuries: SP Nathan Eovaldi (Elbow, June 1); SP Blake Snell (Hip, May 18); SP Yonny Chirinos (Forearm, May 31); SP Jose De Leon (Elbow, Out For Season).
3. Texas Rangers – SS Elvis Andrus
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the Texas Rangers are in last place in the AL West with a 16-26 record, 9.5 games back of first. Their injured list is littered with 11 different players, from pitcher to position players, none bigger than SS Elvis Andrus. The two-time All-Star, who had his best offensive year in 2017, was hit on his throwing arm in an early season game, resulting in a broken elbow. He will be sidelined until June 12 at the very earliest. Before being beaned, Andrus was hitting .327 with two homers and five RBI. Last year, the 10-year veteran hit. 297, with career highs in doubles (44), homers (20) and RBI (88), while also smacking four triples and swiping 25 bases to bring his career total to 266. Taking his reps at short, for now, is fourth-year pro Jurickson Profar. The Rangers need to have that DL shortened, soon. Other injuries: 3B Adrian Beltre (Hamstring, May 24); RP Chris Martin (Forearm, May 18); CF Carlos Tocci (Hip, May 18); SP Martin Perez (Elbow, May 25); RP Ricky Rodriguez (Elbow, May 28); RP Tim Lincecum (Finger (May 28); RP Clayton Blackburn (Elbow, Out For Season); SP Ronald Herrera (Shoulder, July 1); RP Joe Palumbo (Elbow, June 15).
2. Toronto Blue Jays – SP Marcus Stroman
The Marcus Stroman injury is bad news, bad news for the middling Blue Jays. Before the team put him on the DL with shoulder fatigue until at least May 19, he was off to a horrid start. The double bad news there is that he won’t get a chance to pitch his way out of the slump, or not (the other bad news for the team). In seven starts, only one of them quality, Stroman was winless at 0-5, with an ugly 7.71 ERA, 1.714 WHIP and a WAR of -0.8. This was a complete 180 from a breakout campaign in 2017 that saw him go 13-9, with a 3.09 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 201 innings. He is the only hurler on the DL, however, the Jays will also be without elite closer Roberto Osuna, who was placed on administrative leave by major league baseball after being arrested on domestic violence charges and which has been extended to May 21. Other injuries: SS Aledmys Diaz (Ankle, May 22); LF Steve Pearce (Oblique, May 24); RF Randal Grichuk (Knee, May 22); SS Troy Tulowitzki (Heel, May 28).
1. Washington Nationals – LF Adam Eaton
It’s been a lousy two years, injury wise, for speedy outfielder Adam Eaton, at least in a Washington Nationals uniform. After being traded to the Nationals in late 2016, Eaton played in just 23 games before tearing an ACL and missing the rest of the 2017 campaign. A swift fielder who led the AL in triples twice and stole 47 bases in three seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Eaton did hit .297 with 10 extra base hits, 13 RBI and three stolen bases before being injured last year. He recovered from surgery and played great in the first eight games of this season, before injuring his ankle and having to undergo surgery again. He was hitting .345 at the time with five extra base hits and five RBI. Veteran Howie Kendrick has filled in capably in left for Eaton, so not all is lost with his absence. Other injuries: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (Back, May 20); RP Joaquin Benoit (Forearm, May 31); C Matt Wieters (Hamstring, May 20); 2B Daniel Murphy (Knee, May 18); C Jhonatan Solano (Elbow, June 10); RP Koda Glover (Shoulder, May 25); SP Joe Ross (Elbow, July 25).