How much of the disaster that was 2011 can be blamed on injuries? Take a look at the list below and decide for yourself.
It’s a list of every time the Twins have used the Disabled List this season. Keep in mind that this does not include every injury the Twins have had. For example, in September Brian Duensing, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel all missed significant playing time, but they did not go on the DL because expanded rosters made it unnecessary.
4/5 – 5/7: Kevin Slowey, Bicep pain
4/8 – 6/15: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Broken fibula
4/13 – 6/17: Joe Mauer, Bilateral leg weakness
4/19 – 5/13: Delmon Young, Strained oblique
5/1 – 5/23: Jim Thome, Strained oblique
5/2 – 5/23: Jason Repko, Strained right quad
5/15 – 5/30: Jose Mijares, Strained left elbow
5/21 – 7/22: Slowey, Abdominal strain
5/22 – 6/17: Glen Perkins, Strained oblique
5/23 – 6/7: Fransisco Liriano, Left shoulder inflammation
5/24 – 6/24: Joe Nathan, Strained right flexor muscle
5/31 – 7/22: Jason Kubel, Sprained left foot
6/10 – 8/2: Denard Span, concussion
6/10 – 8/12: Justin Morneau,Left wrist injury
6/26 – 7/11: Delmon Young, Sprained right ankle
7/7 – 7/23: Scott Baker, Strained right flexor muscle
7/28 – 8/12: Alexi Casilla, Strained right hamstring
8/9 – 9/20: Baker, Right flexor strain
8/12 – 8/26: Jason Repko, Left shoulder bursitis
8/13 – end of season: Casilla, Strained right hamstring
8/14 – 9/21: Span, Migraines
8/22 – end of season: Nick Blackburn, Right lateral forearm strain
8/26 – 9/17: Liriano, Left shoulder strain
9/12 – end of season: Nishioka, Strained oblique
9/12 – end of season: Morneau, Concussion symptoms
9/15 – end of season: Mauer,Pneumonia
Of the 25 men on the Opening Day roster, 16 spent time on the Disabled list. The nine who did not were not exactly the superstars: Drew Butera, Danny Valencia, Matt Tolbert, Cuddyer, Carl Pavano, Duensing, Matt Capps, Dusty Hughes, and Jeff Manship. As mentioned above, Cuddyer and Duensing both missed significant playing time without going on the DL. Every member of the Opening Day lineup missed significant playing time except for Valencia. And every member of the original starting rotation other than Pavano went down with an injury.
Here are the players ranked by number of days spent on the DL:
Liriano and Blackburn: 37
Four players missed more than half the season due to injury, and nine missed at least a quarter of the season. And the players who missed time were the ones the team was counting on to score runs and shut down opponents. As a result, the Twins were forced to fill their lineups will several replacement level players every single game. The bullpen woes from early in the season were a direct result of the fact that only players like Hughes and Manship were healthy. And the awful starting pitching during the September collapse happened because rookies Liam Hendriks and Scott Diamond – players who are probably not ready to pitch in the Major Leagues yet – had to fill in for the injured Baker, Duensing, Liriano, Blackburn, and Slowey. Even when players like Span, Mauer, and Morneau were in the lineup, they were clearly not playing at their highest level because of their various ailments.
At the top of the page, I invited you to make your own decision about how much of 2011 can be blamed on injuries. But if you haven’t figured out the answer yet, I’ll do it for you. The answer is that almost all of the Twins’ troubles are the result of injuries. Yes, every professional sports team has to plan for and deal with injuries. But no team could ever expect to be riddled with catastrophic injuries like the 2011 Twins were. There is no way to tell if this team would have competed for the Central Division title if its players had been healthy, but it is almost a 100% certainty that the Twins would not be facing 100 losses and the second pick in the 2012 draft.
Topics: Alexi Casilla, Brian Duensing, Carl Pavano, Danny Valencia, Delmon Young, Denard Span, Drew Butera, Dusty Hughes, Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins, Jason Kubel, Jason Repko, Jeff Manship, Jim Thome, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares, Justin Morneau, Kevin Slowey, Matt Capps, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker, Tsuyoshi Nishioka