I was thinking about the rash of early season injuries. We can blame the WBC. We can blame the extra long spring training season. We can blame improper conditioning by players, including off season routines. We can blame improper conditioning routines managed by the teams. Or, we can blame the Baseball Gods. Or we can blame all of the above. Of course some postings are strategic – borderline injuries that permit a roster move that would otherwise not work.
Regardless, I was looking at a list on the recent long flight from London to Miami and, while knowing that some changes have been made since, I was considering what an all-star team might look like. So here is mine:
Catcher – Joe Mauer, a Minnesota DL Perennial
1st Base – Dmitri Young, Washington Nationals or Russell Branyan, Mariners
2nd Base – slim pickings here, but I will go with Ryan Freel. Actually I want badly to put in Dan Uggla and bring him back in June, but he plays badly while healthy in the early season
3rd base – Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
Short Stop – have to exercise some schadenfreude here and cite the Red Sox Julo Lugo. Close runner up, Jack Wilson of the Pirates
Right field – Xavier Nady of the Yankees, eased by the good fill in role, being handled by Nick Swisher
Center field – Milton Bradley, of the Cubs although that may be a courtesy DL listing to conceal how angry Pinella is with him. Nate McClouth fits this slot under normal circumstances
Left field – Marcus Thames, Detroit Tigerss
DH – Vladimir Guerrero, only because I gave right field to Nady
You could fill an active roster with quality pitchers on the sidelines. So, in no particular order, the starting rotation might look like: Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey, Jeremy Bonderman, Hroki Karuda and Brandon Webb.
And, there are just too many relievers, raising an interesting question. Wouldn't you think that with so many relief pitchers injured, someone would rethink the notion of one inning/throw your arm out if you have to/bullpen management?