With the trade deadline a little over a month away, contending teams will try to evaluate how they can improve their teams, and injuries can have a big impact on those needs.
In a very busy week of games and news, injuries have dominated the headlines. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news of the week around MLB.
This week saw a few of the game’s biggest superstars go down, and western divisions were especially impacted.
First, the Los Angeles Dodgers put outfielder Mookie Betts on the 10-day injured list with a cracked rib. While a timetable for his return is unknown, losing Betts is a major blow for an offense that ranks third in the majors in scoring, averaging 5.05 runs per game.
In 245 at bats this season, Betts is hitting .273/.349/.535 with 17 home runs, 40 runs batted in, 53 runs scored, and six stolen bases.
Betts wasn’t the only NL West star to go down this week. On Sunday, the San Diego Padres lost Manny Machado to an ankle sprain. Landing awkwardly at the bag on a play at first base, Machado had to leave the game Sunday being assisted by trainers. Luckily, x-rays were negative, but Machado will still likely miss some time.
Machado is currently hitting .329/.401/.548 with 12 home runs, 46 runs batted in, and 48 runs scored. For a team that is already without Fernando Tatis Jr, this is another major blow for San Diego.
The Dodgers and Padres currently are the frontrunners in the NL West, with the Dodgers leading the division by just half a game. They are the favorites to win the division at -210.
Elsewhere, the Atlanta Braves (38-29, second in NL East) had to put star second baseman Ozzie Albies on the injured list this week as he suffered a fractured foot.
Hitting .244/.289/.405 with eight home runs, 33 runs batted in, and 34 runs scored, this is a big loss for Atlanta. Having won eight of their last 10, the Braves have surged recently, but they will have to try to continue their surge without a stalwart in their lineup.
In the AL West, the Houston Astros (41-25, first in division) suffered a couple of injuries this week. First, rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena (.277 avg, nine home runs) was put on the injured list with a thumb injury, while Yordan Alvarez (.311 avg, 18 HR, 47 RBI) reportedly is dealing with a hand injury of his own.
While the aforementioned injuries will affect the respective teams in the short term, a couple of teams faced even worse news in the long term.
The Los Angeles Angels, who sit 9.5 games back in the division, will be without their third baseman for the rest of the season. Anthony Rendon is being shut down as he will undergo surgery on his wrist.
The expectation, according to team trainer Mike Frostad, is that Rendon will likely need four to six months to return.
The Rendon signing has been a disappointing one for the Angels as he has not played in more than 58 games in any of his first three seasons.
In 45 games (162 at bats) this season, Rendon was hitting .228/.324/.383 with five home runs, 24 runs batted in, and 15 runs scored.
Signed through 2026 as part of a seven-year, $245 million deal, the Angels are likely regretting the signing of now 32-year-old.
The Toronto Blue Jays (38-28, second in AL East) also shut down one of their regulars for the season as starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu had Tommy John surgery and will not only miss this season but could miss most of next year as well.
At 35 years old, Ryu only had six starts this season, going 2-0 with a 5.67 ERA over 27 innings.
Anderson Coming Back
While most of the news is about injuries, the Chicago White Sox will welcome back a star as shortstop Tim Anderson is set to return this week for the SouthSiders.
Sidelined due to a groin injury, Anderson was fantastic to start the season, hitting .356/.393/.503 with five home runs, 19 runs batted in, 24 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 163 at bats.
For a team that has fallen to 31-33, five games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, Chicago hopes that Anderson can bring the team a shot in the arm as they try to chip away at their divisional deficit.