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Diamond Cuts: The All-Scar Team

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.


The All-Star break is upon us which means it's time to recognize the other side of the coin with the presentation of the third annual MLB All-Scar Teams. These individuals have caused many fantasy owners to hang their head in frustration as draft picks and auction dollars have failed to produce.

Catchers

NL - Yasmani Grandal

Grandal wasn't exactly blowing the cover off the ball when healthy but a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee insures he won't be available in the second half. He will need a solid 9-to-12 months of rehab before he can return but knee injuries are particularly hard on catchers and will have carryover into next season as well.

AL - Francisco Cervelli

Cervelli was having a respectable start to the year before a fractured right hand sent him to the operating room. Just as his surgically-repaired hand was improving, the 27-year old catcher has now been shut down for an additional two weeks with a stress reaction in his right elbow. A stress reaction is a precursor to a stress fracture so the Yankees will tread carefully moving forward.

First Base

NL - Corey Hart

Hart earns a spot on the NL squad without ever appearing in a game. He was expected to miss the start of the season after needing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. His recovery was marred by several setbacks before he began developing pain in his "good" knee. Additional surgery was required on the left knee, ending his season before it even began.

AL - Mark Teixeira

Teixeira suffered a wrist injury playing for team USA in the World Baseball Classic but hoped to avoid going under the knife. The torn tendon sheath did not cooperate and Tex eventually opted for season-ending surgery. His 2013 numbers left a lot to be desired as he appeared in 15 games and hit an abysmal .151.

Second Base

NL - Aaron Hill

Hill played in 10 of Arizona's first 12 games before missing the next 64 games with a broken left hand. The healing process took longer than expected delaying his return. He could still be a productive player moving forward but some fantasy owners are still scrambling to make up for the lost days.

AL - Ian Kinsler

Kinsler has had a good season, hitting nine home runs and scoring 40 runs. However a fractured rib cost him nearly a month of the season and his absence was felt by the Rangers' offense. He's back and playing well but injuries are particularly damaging at a shallow position like second base.

Shortstop

NL - Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez has been great when he's been in the lineup, but multiple injuries have limited him to just 39 games played. An unlucky thumb injury in the World Baseball Classic ultimately required surgery to fix a torn ligament. His return was brief after he suffered a hamstring strain that sent him back to disabled list. He's proven to be an elite fantasy option but staying healthy is the key for a big second half.

AL - Derek Jeter

Jeter seemed poised for an early season return following his fractured ankle in the 2012 postseason. However a CT scan in mid-April revealed a crack remained in the bone. After months of rehab, Jeter's return lasted one game as a Grade I quad strain sidelined him through the All-Star break. Jeter's rough season prevented Jose Reyes from earning his surprisingly first All-Scar nod.

Third Base

NL - Aramis Ramirez

Ramirez has been plagued by a left knee injury originally sustained in Spring Training. He aggravated the injury early in the regular season and has spent the last few months playing through the associated pain and soreness. He landed on the DL shortly before the break but this has all the makings of a lingering issue.

AL - Brett Lawrie

Lawrie earns the spot over Alex Rodriguez because A-Rod was already a question mark entering the year after offseason hip surgery. The Blue Jays and fantasy owners were hoping for a long-awaited breakout season from Lawrie but a troublesome oblique strain and a severely sprained left ankle have limited his time on the field. A shift in positions may help but it will be hard to trust him moving forward.

Outfield

NL - Bryce Harper, Matt Kemp, and Giancarlo Stanton

Two of the three National League outfielders earn their second consecutive nod on the All-Scar team as both Kemp and Stanton continue to battle injuries. Kemp is once again managing his balky hamstrings and his surgically-repaired shoulder has recently begun to give him problems. Even when he has played he appears less than 100 percent and just isn't performing for a player who had an ADP of 4.

Stanton missed nearly six weeks with a Grade 2 hamstring strain after shoulder discomfort cost him a handful of games early on. He's been able to stay healthy for the majority of June and could salvage the season with a big second half.

Harper's red-hot start was cooled by a case of knee bursitis that ended up landing him in the office of Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Andrews didn't find any structural damage to the ligaments or menisci but the injury still kept him off the field for 33 straight games. He's been so-so since returning but he remains a must play.

AL - Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson, and Shane Victorino

American League outfielders have done a surprisingly good job staying healthy but these three individuals have stood out.

Granderson has been limited to eight games thus far, missing time with a wrist fracture and a hand fracture. Both injuries were the result of being hit by stray pitches and the latter injury has been slow to heal. The injured hand is still causing him problems while gripping the bat and it appears he'll miss the remainder of July.

Jackson has been unable to build on last season's breakout numbers, largely in part to missing a month's worth of games with a right hamstring strain. Jackson has reported some lingering soreness, which may be a reason why he's been limited on the basepaths.

Victorino has missed time with a myriad of injuries, including back and hamstring problems. There is a growing belief his ailments are all intertwined, though the Red Sox hope an extended bit of rest will fix the problem. Fantasy owners should be prepared for more of the same if he is still banged up following the break.

Starting Pitchers

NL - Roy Halladay

After a latissimus dorsi injury dogged him for a large portion of the 2012 season, Halladay had hoped for bounce back season in 2013. However he struggled greatly to start the year, posting a bloated 8.65 ERA before it was revealed he was pitching with a partially torn rotator cuff, fraying of the labrum, and a sizeable bone spur in his throwing shoulder. He underwent surgery in May and hopes to return near the end of the season.

AL - Brett Anderson

Anderson bounced back from Tommy John surgery last year but must now attempt to comeback from a lower extremity injury. Anderson has been out since April 29 after turning his right ankle. It was later revealed he had a stress fracture. He has yet to throw from a mound but that hurdle could be cleared soon.

Relief Pitchers

NL - J.J. Putz

Putz suffered an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain and irritated the ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow in early May and remained sidelined until late June. He avoided Tommy John surgery and has appeared sharp since rejoining the Diamondbacks. If Putz can resume the closing duties, he could be a good source of saves after the break.

AL - Ryan Madson

Madson has yet to throw for Anaheim after undergoing Tommy John prior to the 2012 season. Multiple setbacks with tightness and soreness have delayed his return. He has ramped up his workload an attempt to make another return but tread carefully for the immediate future.

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