There are injuries every day in the major leagues, but some are more impactful than others. Let’s take a look at which players out of the 193 who are currently on the MLB.com injury report and see who has affected their club the most so far this season.
1.) Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Just when the Giants thought they were primed to move on from last year’s dismal 64-98 season, they saw ace — and arguably the best pitcher in the game — Bumgarner suffer a broken left hand after getting drilled by a line drive in his final spring training start. With his injury, plus fellow teammate Jeff Samardzija also suffering a pectoral strain at the same time, the Giants went 7-11 without them. Though Samardzija has returned, the Giants are 22-24, have lost seven of their last 10 games and are four games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West. Bumgarner has said that he wants to get back before June, the estimated timetable for his return. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Bumgarner will be making three rehab starts before he returns. As far as the Giants’ concern, they want him back fully healthy and ready to help them make a run at the postseason this year. They don’t want to have to think about possibly dealing the three-time World Series champion, as was suggested by one national columnist back in late April.
2.) Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
The defending NL champion Dodgers have been hit with the injury bug this season, but Kershaw’s bicep tendonitis injury — let alone any injury to their star ace — is one that can derail their chances of trying to win a World Series. Though the three-time Cy Young winner, seven-time All-Star and 2014 NL MVP has no structural damage in his throwing arm and is already doing some rehabbing, there is no timetable for Kershaw to return to the rotation. Since Kershaw has last pitched on May 1, the Dodgers have gone 5-9, are in fourth place in the NL West at 17-26 and are 7 1⁄2 games behind the D-backs. Any more time he spends on the sidelines spells trouble for the Dodgers.
3.) Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
Along with Kershaw’s injury, one that has been felt by the Dodgers is Seager being forced to miss this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old shortstop has posted a 13.8 WAR since breaking into the majors in September 2015. He was named an All-Star in each of the last two seasons and won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2016, when he hit 26 home runs with 72 RBI while slashing .308/.365/.512 in 157 games. Since Seager has been placed on the DL, the Dodgers have been one of the worst hitting teams in all of baseball, as they are in the bottom third of the league in RBI (27th with 34), average (26th at .220), slugging percentage (26th at .358), OPS (26th at .667) and homes (tied for 23rd with 11). The injury to Seager has fueled the rumor mill as far as the Dodgers being a team that would go after Orioles star Manny Machado this summer if he became available at the trade deadline.
4.) Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
The Rangers have had a lot of turnover in their lineup over the last 10 seasons, but the only constant in it had been Andrus. That was until April 11, when the most durable player on the roster got hit by a pitch and wound up breaking his right elbow. This injury put him out six to eight weeks and on the DL for the first time in his career. The 29-year-old and two-time All-Star had played in 1,393 games with Texas, averaging 153 games per year in his first nine seasons. Andrus also posted 200-plus total bases in seven seasons during that span. Without Andrus, the struggling Rangers will expect to keep doing just that.
5.) Danny Farquhar, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are not expected to challenge for postseason contention anytime soon, but they saw Farquhar suffer a life-threatening brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm while he was in the dugout during a game against the Astros on April 20. Miraculously, Farquhar had successful brain surgery and was able to get better to the point that he got the chance to visit the White Sox on May 8. Farquhar will be out for the rest of this season, but he has not ruled out playing in 2019. Either way, Farquhar’s ability to recover to this point has been truly inspirational to not only his teammates, but to many people inside and outside of baseball.
6.) Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
The Mariners were holding their breath on Sunday as far as how long they were going to be without their most durable and consistent star after Cano broke his right hand after being hit by a pitch. Two days later, though, they saw the All-Star second baseman get hit with an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug agreement after testing positive for a diuretic that is commonly used to mask PED use. Obviously, the suspension trumps the injury, but no matter how you slice it, the Mariners are going to miss having the slugger in their lineup for the next three months and his absence will greatly aftect their chances of making the playoffs.
7.) Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
Before any baseball activities began this year, the Orioles suffered a huge blow in December when their All-Star closer tore his Achilles while working out and was going to be sidelined for four to six months. The injury, combined with two stints on the disabled list last year due to a left forearm strain and knee soreness plus struggling overall in 2017, has dropped his trade value a little bit since his 2016 campaign when he led the majors with 47 saves, posted an eye-popping 0.54 ERA and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting. Britton has ramped up his rehab and is still targeting to come back in June, but the struggling Orioles hope they can get good enough production from him when he returns that they could potentially get some nice pieces if they decide to become sellers at the deadline.
8.) A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona raced out to the best record in the majors earlier this year by winning 10 of its first 12 series (the club split the other two series). A big reason for that was Pollock, who was putting together an MVP-type season until he had an avulsion fracture of his left thumb. He is leading the National League with a .620 slugging percentage and has hit 11 home runs with 33 RBI in his first 40 games. However, the D-backs are going to be without their center fielder for four to eight weeks and are in the midst of a massive slump (lost eight of their last 10 games) because of it.
9.) Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays
Competing in the AL East is never easy for the Blue Jays, but it got harder for them from the outset when their star shortstop had to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in both of his heels at the beginning of April. As a result, they are already eight games behind the Yankees and Red Sox for first in the division. When he is healthy, Tulowitzki is one of the best in the game at his position. However, he hasn’t been that way since coming to Toronto from Colorado midway through 2015, playing in only 238 games. He has slashed only .250/.313/.414 with 36 homers and 122 RBI. He is going to be re-evaluated by his surgeon next week, but still may not return until possibly June, which could make the Blue Jays’ current deficit to the Yankees and Red Sox grow even more.
10.) Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Over the last nine seasons, the Cardinals have never really had to worry about their catcher situation. That was until May 6 when Molina had to undergo emergency surgery on his groin after getting hit with a foul ball. The injury has put him out at least a month. Before this injury, the 35-year-old Molina had played in over 130 games in eight of the last nine seasons. During that span, he has been an All-Star eight times, a Gold Glove winner seven times, and a top-five finisher in the NL MVP voting twice. This year, he has slashed .272/.292/.456 with six home runs, 17 RBI and 31 hits in 30 games. Defensively, he had helped the Cardinals’ pitching staff post a combined 3.36 ERA, good for third best in the NL. Since he has been out, the Cardinals have gone from first to third place in the NL Central, have lost six of their last 10 games and are currently playing with their third catcher after Carson Kelly had to go on the DL with a right hamstring strain.