Injuries not to blame for Cubs’ mess
Last year a lot of people (myself included) whined at length about how catastrophic Aramis’ shoulder injury was to the team’s chances. A lot of blame for their failure to capture the division title they were crowned with before the season fell on that injury when it wasn’t going to Milton Bradley. And rightfully so.
Finishing five games above .500 and in second-place, like they did in 2009, can’t be considered a failure when you look at it practically. While missing the playoffs and falling short of expectations was disappointing, it’s turned out that 2009 was still a heck of a lot better than 2010. But this year you certainly can’t point to injuries as the cause of the problem(s).
Tom Singer at MLB.com put together the “DL standings,” or how teams stack up this year in terms of games missed by players on the disabled list. Here are the “standings” for the NL Central:
1. Brewers (556)
2. Reds (411)
3. Pirates (402)
4. Astros (389)
5. Cubs (298)
6. Cardinals (269)
The longest DL stay of the year for the Cubs was Aramis’ 15-game one for his bruised thumb. That’s the second-least games missed from the team leader among all of baseball. Furthermore those 298 games missed haven’t come from the major contributors (judging by how the team was built) as Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Z and Marlon Byrd have avoided the DL.
The biggest impact injury, in my opinion, was probably to Ted Lilly at the beginning of the season. It didn’t help not having him for the first month, but the Cubs did sort of tread water then and were getting enough production from Carlos Silva to offset the loss.
A lot has clearly gone wrong and we’ve complained about that on this site and during the olden days on TCB. As the season winds down I’m sure we’ll write at length about the downfalls of the 2010 Cubs, it’s just that injuries wont’ be one of them.