May 10 2013

NL: Mounting Injuries Cause for Concern Featured

Injuries Starting To Have Negative Impact On Teams

There have been numerous injuries to key players this baseball season, and this has had an impact on their team’s performance. When a key member on a team is injured, it becomes hard to replace that player.

This can also have a negative effect on the team, because some players try to do more that they are capable of. One of teams where this has happened is with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers had to place Hanley Ramirez on the Disabled List again, because he strained his left hamstring while running the bases in a game. The Dodgers just got him back after he had thumb surgery before the season started. Ramirez is expected to be out four to six weeks, and this severely impacts what the Dodgers are able to do on offense.

When Hanley was in the lineup, the Dodgers were able to score runs and generate scoring opportunities for the team. The Dodgers needed him desperately, because they have struggled to score runs this season.

The Dodgers have only scored 111 runs through 33 games this season, and the team only that has scored less runs in the National League are the Miami Marlins with 99 runs in 35 games.

The problems on offense have led the Dodgers to being dead last in the National League West Division, and they have a run differential of -37, which is 2nd worst in the NL only the Marlins have a worse differential which is -49.

This is somewhat of a surprise, given the amount of star power they have on their team. There are specific players that need to start hitting for the team, and one of them is Matt Kemp. Kemp has been struggling since the season began, as indicted by .272/.324/.676 triple-slash and has just hit one HR to go along with 14 RBIs so far this season.

There are players on the team that are hitting well like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, but when you have only two players out of eight players that are hitting, that makes it extremely hard to score runs.

The Dodgers will just have to wait until Hanley comes back, and hope that the offense can find a way to break out of this slump that they are in.

Another team where an injury has impacted their team is with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies had to place their starting pitcher Roy Halladay on the Disabled List this week. Halladay has not pitched well at all this season, and there looked to be something wrong with him. Halladay this season had an 8.63 ERA, gave up 33 runs, walked 17 batters, and had a WHIP of 1.45. The stats alone were an indicator that he was not healthy this season.

Halladay had a history of being a dominant starting pitcher in baseball, as indicated by his 2.44 ERA, nine complete games, 250 innings thrown, and 1.04 WHIP in the 2010 season. He is also a two-time Cy Young Award winner, an eight time All-Star, and had thrown at least 220 innings every year from 2006-2011.

He did say that he had been experiencing shoulder soreness since April 25, and this was the main reason why he had given 17 runs in his last two outings. Halladay will need surgery to clean up bone spurs, a frayed labrum, and partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. The Phillies have no idea if he will be able to pitch again this season, but judging by what the surgery involves the chances of him making another start this season are slim.

Philadelphia will certainly miss having him in the rotation, and this is one pitcher that can’t be replaced. The entire Phillies starting rotation will have to pitch better than they have this season.

The Phillies have brought up rookie pitcher Tyler Cloyd to take Halladay’s spot in the rotation. He will be expected to at least give them a chance of winning when he starts.

The starting rotation has been one of the reasons why they have struggled this season, as indicated by the rotation having a 4.41 ERA this season, but there have been two starters for the Phillies that have pitched well for them. Those two pitchers are Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone, who have combined to win six games this season and they have a 3.04 ERA. The Phillies did not start the season off great, but if the rotation can improve there is an opportunity for them to make the playoffs.

Another team that has been impacted by injury is the St. Louis Cardinals, they will be without their close Jason Motte for the rest of the 2013 season and part of the 2014 season.

Motte had Tommy John surgery this week and recovery time is anywhere from 12 to 18 months for pitchers that have this procedure done. Motte had suffered elbow discomfort in Spring Training, and had set a deadline of May 1st to have the surgery if there was no significant progress made. The diagnosis at first was a strained elbow, but the joint did not respond to rest and treatment.

There was some progress made in the last couple of weeks with no discomfort, but when he ramped up his throwing program, he experienced pain in his elbow. The Cardinals will miss Motte while he gets ready for next season, because he was a reliable closer for the team last season, as indicated by the 42 saves he earned, 72 innings pitched, an of 2.75 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and 10.8 SO/9.

The Cardinals have used Edward Mujica as their closer for the season, and he has done a great job finishing off games. Mujica has 1.93 ERA, saved nine games, a 0.64 WHIP, and has only walked one batter in 14 innings thrown.

St. Louis does have another pitcher available in case Mujica slips up, and that is pitcher Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal did struggle early in the season with his command, but has made some adjustments to correct the problems he had.

Read 563 times Last modified on Friday, 20 June 2014 15:33

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Chris Lacey

Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. He has recently started blogging for Fansided, MLBReports, Baseball Hot Corner and Rant Sports. Chris is a diehard fan of every Phoenix sports franchise, but is has been hard for him to be fan of the Suns. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.