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Ferguson: A forgettable anniversary for Major League Baseball

Scott Ferguson
7/11/2014 11:52:53 AM
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It seems only fitting, with the ridiculous number of injuries this season, the Majors would be marking an anniversary of some note. This is the 100th season of the disabled list.

It was first instituted in the National League in 1915. At that time, it was for 10 days. Now it's seven days for a concussion, and 15 or 60 days if it's a long term injury.

I did a rough count and came up with 64 players currently out with injuries. But that list didn't include some of the players who've been out since Spring Training, including Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore. It also doesn't include the myriad of banged up players listed as day-to-day. Going with the 64 figure though, that means just less than 10% of the 650 players on Major League rosters on any given day are hurt.

Blue Jays fans know this only too well. This is the third straight season that is being scuttled in part because of injuries. In 2012, it was the Jays losing Kyle Drabek, Brandon Morrow, and Drew Hutchison, all in one fateful week in June.

Last season it was Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie, and Jose Bautista, just to name a few.

Right now the Jays are dealing with injuries to their 4, 5, and 6 hitters in Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Lawrie, with no definitive timetable for their return.

With the All-Star break rapidly approaching, you could actually put something close to an All-Star squad for each League made up of players on the DL or just listed as day-to-day.

Let's start with the American League:

(C)  Matt Wieters- Orioles
(1B) Edwin Encarnacion - Blue Jays or Joe Mauer- Minnesota
(2B) Brett Lawrie- Blue Jays (OK maybe not quite an All-Star yet)
(3B) Will Middlebrooks- Red Sox (Ditto)
(SS) Yunel Escobar- Rays (defensively at least)
(LF) Carlos Beltran- Yankees
(CF) Michael Bourn- Indians
(RF) Shane Victorino- Boston or Wil Myers- Rays
(DH) Adam Lind- Blue Jays (Platoon at least)

(SP's) Masahiro Tanaka- Yankees, C.C Sabathia- Yankees, Justin Masterson- Clevleand, C.J Wilson- Angels
(Closer) Joel Hanrahan Detroit (not based on this season of couse)

The National League squad may be even more impressive

(C) Yadier Molina- Cardinals, Evan Gattis- Braves, or Caarlos Ruiz- Phillies
(1B) Joey Votto- Reds
(2B) Brandon Phillips- Reds
(3B) Pablo Sandoval- Giants (not on DL, but can't straighten his arm due to elbow injury and is day-to-day)
(SS) Chris Owings- Diamondbacks
(LF) Mark Trumbo- Diamondbacks
(CF) A.J. Pollock- Diamondbacks
(RF) Carlos Gonzalez- Rockies 

(SP's) Michael Wacha- Cardinals, Cliff Lee- Phillies, Josh Beckett-Dodgers
(Closer) Aroldis Chapman- Reds (listed as day-to-day after a stint on the DL earlier in the season, when he took a line drive in the head.)

I stretched it a bit calling some of these guys All-Stars, but I'm sure you get the point. I don't really have any answers short of reducing the length of Spring Training and cutting back the regular season to 154 games, the way it used to be. Ditching interleague play to cut down on travel a bit more might be another solution.

Sanchez growing with the Bisons

Aaron Sanchez, who could be up with the Blue Jays at some point down the stretch or even used as trade bait, is still looking for his elusive first Triple A victory at Buffalo.

Sanchez came up with a solid, and longer, outing Thursday night at home against Durham. He threw 83 pitches over six innings, but was saddled with a 3-2 loss that dropped his record to 0-2.

Jeremy Moore tagged him for a long, game-winning two-run homer in the sixth but overall his numbers were pretty good.  It was his third straight quality start: he gave up five hits, three runs (one unearned), walked two and struck out six.

Jays begin crucial series with Rays

At the beginning of the season, I actually felt Tampa Bay would win the AL East. Injuries and a lack of depth did them in in the first half. Although the Rays are still nine and a half back of front running Baltimore in the East and eight back of Seattle for the second Wild Card, they are now the second hottest team in the AL East next to the O's.

They've won seven out of 10 and 10 out of 14. They're getting healthy again as well, outfielders Wil Myers and David DeJesus should be back in the next couple of weeks.

The Rays could make some noise down the stretch, and that's why the Jays can't afford to be swept by them this weekend at Tropicana Field. In fact, if the Jays can win or sweep the series themselves, it could push the Rays right out of the race and turn them from potential buyers into sellers at that July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.

Soriano DFA'd

I wonder if the Blue Jays will take a flyer on Alfonso Soriano, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees the other day. He can still hit lefties, something the Jays have struggled with all season long.



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