30 May MLB Infirmary Report: Week 9
Posted at 21:00h
, Baseball News
By: Shane Thompson
1) Mike Trout: OF – LAA
It’s obviously very difficult to live up to expectations and comparisons to players such as Mickey Mantle, however, Trout was doing just that in his first five seasons in MLB. What seemed like a harmless slide into second base turned into Angel fans putting their hands over their faces hoping the injury wasn’t something serious. He instantly grimaced and then grabbed his left thumb in pain, which led to him being taken out of the game. The X-rays came back negative but after an MRI, it was revealed that Trout suffered a torn ligament in his thumb and that he would be undergoing surgery on it this week. The Angels were playing .500 baseball and hanging in there for a wild card spot before this injury, with Trout already having 32 extra base hits, 10 stolen bases and .337 batting average. His WAR is at +3.5, leading all hitters around MLB and he is now expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. Baseball and the Angels are going to miss him dearly.
2) Ian Kinsler: 2B – DET
The Detroit Tigers have been in pretty much every game they’ve played in this season and could be in first place in their division if not for a dreadful bullpen and injuries throughout their lineup. With Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez back in the lineup and healthy again, this offensive juggernaut seemed to be back in full swing until Kinsler suffered a left hamstring strain. This offense has not been on the field together at the same time all season which has certainly hurt their chances of competing. Turns out that Kinsler has been dealing with the injury for quite some time and tweaked it again this past Friday. Super utility man Andrew Romine will be taking the majority of the reps at 2B in Kinsler’s absence and at this point, it’s hard to know how long that will be for.
3) Danny Duffy: SP – KC
Underachieving is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Kansas City Royals this season. The Cleveland Indians were the clear favorites to win the AL Central division and a World Series title in most people’s minds, however you would think that the Royals would compete or give them a run for their money with the core players they still have. It has been quite the opposite as they find themselves in last place in the division. To top it off, their ace Danny Duffy has been diagnosed with an oblique strain which is expected to have him on the DL for 6-8 weeks. This is a huge blow to the Royals seeing how Duffy is coming off a career year of throwing 180 innings, striking out 188 batters with a 3.51 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. The bullpen is already thin compared to years past and the starting pitchers are struggling to pitch deep into games. This bad start for KC might turn into a fire sale come the July trade deadline.
4) Jameson Taillon: SP – PIT
This is definitely more of a feel good story compared to other injuries on this list. Usually it’s a hamstring pull, tommy john surgery, shoulder issues or an oblique injury, but not in this case. Over a month ago Taillon was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Since the diagnosis, the fight in this once prized prospect has gotten stronger. He is three and a half weeks removed from surgery and has already thrown a rehab start. He looked impressive as well, fanning six batters in just over three innings. Obviously signs are pointing up for Jameson and he should be in line for 1-2 more rehab starts before being called back up. Whether you like the Pirates or not, you cannot help but root for this kid.
5) J.A. Happ: SP – TOR
It’s been a long time coming for Toronto to have Happ back, considering he’s only thrown 16 innings all season entering his start against the Reds tonight. This starting pitching staff led the AL in ERA in 2016 and has battled injuries throughout the rotation all season long. Not only has Happ missed the majority of the season, but Aaron Sanchez has been on and off the DL twice for multiple reasons and Francisco Liriano has spent time on the DL as well. The Blue Jays got off to a horrible start but have since turned the corner and are one of the hottest teams in all of baseball right now. With Happ back in the rotation and the Jays starting to swing the bats like we’re accustomed to seeing, this team could make a second half run that could shock the baseball world. Needless to say, J.A. Happ, a 20 game winner in 2016, could be exactly what Toronto needs to compete in the AL East.