It’s almost here – Baseball 2013 is just around the corner. This will be the last big weekend of drafts and auctions before the games start for real. Pitchers and catchers started reporting back on February 10 and position players on February 13 when the weather was pretty frigid across much of the country (oh, the weather is still pretty frigid across much of the country). The first spring training game was February 21 and there has been a myriad of games, split squads, and position battles to prepare for the upcoming season.
Despite all the training and working out, injuries are inevitable and all fantasy players hold their breath and hope none of their players winds up getting hurt and losing any time before contests start in earnest. I’m going to take a look at some of the more significant injuries team by team and how the club will make due without the player for the time he is out. Again, this isn’t an all-inclusive injury list but rather those that could potentially have a significant fantasy impact.
Dan Hudson – The big right-hander had Tommy John surgery last July and isn’t expected back until sometime after the All-Star break. Patrick Corbin and Randall Delgado are competing for the spot with Corbin seemingly having the inside track.
Adam Eaton – The base-stealing outfielder has an elbow strain and the date for his return ranges from the last half of April until the beginning of June. A.J. Pollock will see extra at bats as Cody Ross could also start the year on the DL.
Brandon Beachy – Still recovering from Tommy John surgery, Beachy won’t return until most likely early July at the best. Julio Teheran will fill out the starting five while Beachy is still recovering.
Matt Garza, Scott Baker – Garza has a strained lat and will begin 2013 on the DL without a definitive date for his return. Baker, recovering from Tommy John surgery, will also start the season on the DL and miss at least the month of April. The Cubs rotation will consist of Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, Travis Wood, and Carlos Villanueva to start the season.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds don’t have any definitive, significant injuries at this point.
Jorge De La Rosa – The southpaw has tightness in his pitching forearm and, although considered day-to-day, could miss some time at the start of the season although that isn’t a foregone conclusion at this point.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Hanley Ramirez – The shortstop tore a ligament in his right thumb that required surgery to repair and is slated to be out until at least the middle of May. Luis Cruz will man shortstop in his stead while he is out with Juan Uribe filling in at third base.
Logan Morrison – The first baseman had knee surgery in September that he is still recovering from and will miss at least the month of April. Casey Kotchman will receive most of the time at first base while Morrison is out.
Mat Gamel – The bad luck continued for Gamel as he tore the ACL in the same knee for the second year in a row. Gamel is on the 60-day DL and will miss the entire 2013 season. Corey Hart was his replacement but now it’s the aforementioned Gonzalez.
New York Mets:
Johan Santana – He is nursing a shoulder injury and will start the year on the DL and will likely miss all of April.
Jenrry Mejia – The 23-year old has elbow inflammation and won’t appear in a regular season game until at least the second week of May.
Carlos Ruiz – Suspended for 25 games due to a second test that showed positive for amphetamines, Ruiz will be out until the very end of April. Erik Kratz will be his primary replacement during this time.
Delmon Young – Still hobbled with pain from a micro fracture in his right ankle, Young will start the season on the DL and won’t see major league action until sometime at the end of April. Domonic Brown will get the start in right field with Laynce Nix and John Mayberry, Jr. sharing the left field duties.
Jeff Karstens – Will start the year on the DL and currently there is no timetable for his return.
Francisco Liriano – The left-hander has an injury to his non-throwing right arm and will start 2013 on the DL with a return likely at the end of April.
Charlie Morton – Recovering from Tommy John surgery, Morton will start the year on the DL and is expected back in either May or June.
San Diego Padres:
Cory Luebke – Still on his way back from Tommy John surgery, Luebke will not return until at least the beginning of June.
Yasmani Grandal – While nursing an inflamed tendon in his finger, the catcher has a 50-game suspension to serve after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance, effectively keeping him sidelined for most of the first two months of the season.
Chase Headley – The third baseman will start 2013 on the DL and miss at least the month of April with a left thumb fracture. Jedd Gyorko will fill in during his DL stint with Alexi Amarista playing second.
Logan Forsythe – Originally slated to take over third base for the injured Headley, Forsythe will now be DL bound with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. There is no timetable for his return.
San Francisco Giants: The World Series champions don’t have any significant injuries at this point.
St. Louis Cardinals:
Chris Carpenter – Has nerve irritation in his right shoulder that forced the team to place him on the 60-day DL. The 37-year old’s career might be over.
Washington Nationals: No significant injuries at this time.
Here’s the full list of anticipated pitching matchups for opening day:
Chicago/Pittsburgh – Jeff Samardzija & A.J. Burnett