The 2011 season has already seen several serious injuries to superstar players, and yet two more players were added to the list this weekend when outfielder/infielder Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves and second baseman Freddy Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants were knocked out of commission.
Clinical Notes - The Walking Wounded
Saturday June 11th, 2011
The Braves announced Friday evening that Martin Prado was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a staph infection in his right calf. The team recalled Brandon Hicks from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill his roster spot, and will likely have Eric Hinske patrol left field every day until he returns. It's expected that Prado will miss between 2-to-3 weeks. With Prado hitting the DL, the Atlanta Braves now have their entire opening day starting outfield on the disabled list, as Jason Heyward and Nate McLouth were placed on the disabled list near the end of May.
The San Francisco Giants suffered yet another injury to their lineup, when second baseman Freddy Sanchez hurt his right shoulder diving for a ball in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds. Sanchez, who leads the team in hits, is another significant blow for a lineup that has already seen offensive stars Andres Torres, Pablo Sandoval, and Buster Posey on the disabled list this year. The team hasn't announced how long Sanchez will be out, but manager Bruce Bochy said he expects Freddy to miss significant time. In the meantime, the team has signed recently released Houston Astros infielder Bill Hall to help out with second base and third base duties.
Speaking of Pablo Sandoval, he should be activated from the DL early as next week. Sandoval was hitting .313/.374/.530 prior to missing several weeks with a fractured right hand. Not only should fantasy owners be happy when he returns, but as an added bonus, Bochy discussed the possibility of Sandoval catching a few games a week, adding to his already valuable status.
It will be interesting to see how and if the Giants can overcome an injury plagued season thus far. Playing in a mediocre National League West will certainly allow them to compete given their great starting rotation, but they'll need for veteran players like Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada, and Cody Ross to step-up their offensive game.
The injuries continue to mount for the Minnesota Twins early on. The team placed both outfielder Jason Kubel and Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list on June 2. Kubel (left foot) was a major contributor for a Twins offense that was lacking to score runs this year. He's been doing baseball activities and taking light batting practice without issues, so he's expected back sometime next week.
On a happier note, catcher Joe Mauer, who has missed most of the season due to bilateral leg weakness, could return early next week after a successful rehabilitation assignment. The 28-year-old catcher showed encouraging signs that he's finally in good health after catching three consecutive days for Class-A Fort Myers. The Twins will be more than delighted to see Mauer's bat back in the lineup, as Twins catchers minus Mauer have combined to hit .182/.228/.276 this season.
The Oakland Athletics starting rotation has a lot of talent, but will be without starter left-handed starter Brett Anderson for an extended period of time. Anderson, 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA, was placed on the 15-day DL with a sore left elbow, but there's a bigger concern as he's scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion early next week.
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