10 May MLB Infirmary Report: Week 6
By: Shane Thompson – @realsportscrew
Can you believe it’s already been over a month since the season has started? There are plenty of dynamic players on the DL and even worse, multiple teams underachieving at a rapid pace. You can blame it on execution, talent or lack thereof and of course injuries. At the end of the day, that’s baseball. The good news is, we’ve only seen roughly 20% of games in the regular season so far and the intensity will only start to pick up from here on out. Here is this weeks list of players on the infirmary report.
SP: Corey Kluber- Cleveland Indians
After having lower back discomfort a week ago, it turns out that the situation is very minor despite having similar symptoms in 2 consecutive starts. He was relieved against Detroit after only throwing three innings. Yes, they have a stud in Carlos Carrasco along with Danny Salazar, however, they just haven’t seemed to be able to stay healthy. Kluber has been the rock of this starting rotation for the past few years and the ongoing back problems have raised a few eyebrows within the organization. The Cleveland Indians will only go as far as Kluber can take them. Don’t let the 5.06 ERA and 1.37 WHIP fool you, he’s a great pitcher and will be returning soon.
RF: J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
He was once a highly touted prospect for the Houston Astros, didn’t do much after two years for the Astros and was then traded to the Detroit Tigers for a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes a change of scenery can be whats best for a struggling player and this seems to have been the case with Martinez. He has been excellent since arriving in Detroit. Unfortunately, he has battled a pair of serious injuries which include thumb surgery after crashing into the outfield wall in 2016 and a sprained Lisfranc in his right foot this season. You can argue that the Tigers have a very potent and powerful offensive when he’s healthy along with him being one of the best right fielders in all of baseball. This team will get a huge boost when he comes back. His first two of four rehab games were a success and if all goes well in the next two, he will be activated this Friday.
3B: Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
With many of his teammates in Toronto being placed on the DL without certainty of coming back, Donaldson appears to be the only Blue Jays who is finally set to return. He has been sidelined with a calf injury for most of the season and when healthy, he’s one of the best third basemen and players in MLB. In a small sample size this year, Donaldson has a .310 BA with a couple home runs in his 29 at bats along with 6 walks. The plate discipline and pitch selection was still there prior to the injury despite not having Edwin Encarnacion backing him up. This lineup is clearly not what it was in 2015 and 2016, as it ranks in the bottom three in runs. Donaldson is only 31 years old with plenty of tread left on the tires, but the rest of this team is underachieving in his absence. Granted, it’s difficult to say whether he will be able to help carry this team on his back to get into playoff contention, but him playing the hot corner is a huge upgrade compared to Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan who are currently manning the position in Toronto.
C:Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
From one injury to another, Toronto is having a nightmarish start to 2017. From the starting pitching staff and now the back end of the battery, Martin is on the shelf due to left shoulder irritation. It may sound minor but the problem is this irritation has bothered him since Spring Training and got even worse from a recent collision. His offensive numbers don’t wow anyone, even from the catcher position, however, we are talking about a catcher that not only calls a great ballgame, but has made the playoffs in eight of his eleven MLB seasons. Despite being known as a “slow starter”, you can tell that he’s not himself, posting a .197 BA and 28 strikeouts in only 96 at bats in 2017. He has been placed on the 10 day DL and has no timetable to return.
SP: Brandon McCarthy – Los Angeles Dodgers
Besides Clayton Kershaw, you can argue that McCarthy has been the most consistent and biggest surprise in the Dodgers rotation this season, even after coming back from Tommy John surgery in September of last year. He has been throwing in the mid 90’s with a very effective two seem fastball backed up by filthy offspeed stuff that has him racking up quality starts. His left shoulder injury happened while lifting weights and is considered to be very minor. He has come out and said that he could be pitching but the organization thought it was best for him to proceed with caution and get back to 100%. The Dodgers have plenty of options to replace McCarthy for now, yet none are nearly as effective as him. He has obviously been a bright spot in their rotation and will assume his starter role the moment he is eligible to come off the DL.