Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
If I had a penny for every injury the Milwaukee Brewers suffered in 2013, I’d have enough to buy, well nothing, because pennies are a ridiculous waste of time. But I’d have about 35 cents. In other words, the Brewers were viciously attacked by the injury bug a season ago, and if they expect to compete in 2014, they had better hope it flies away and finds another team to torment. The St. Louis Cardinals would be the preferred choice.
By the end of 2013, the Brewers had placed 15 different players on the disabled list (four with season-ending injuries). Below is a chronological list of Milwaukee’s disabled.
- Mat Gamel – Torn right ACL – 60-day DL (out for season)
- Jeff Bianchi – Left hip bursitis – 15-day DL
- Taylor Green – Left hip labral injury – 60-day DL (out for season)
- Corey Hart – Right knee surgery – 60-day DL (out for season)
- Mark Rogers – Right shoulder instability – 60-day DL
- Aramis Ramirez – Left knee sprain – 15-day DL
- Chris Narveson – Sprained middle finger – 15-day DL
- Tom Gorzelanny – Left shoulder tendinitis – 15-day DL
- Hiram Burgos – Right shoulder impingement – 15-day DL
- Jim Henderson – Strained right hamstring – 15-day DL
- Marco Estrada – Strained left hamstring – 15-day DL
- Ryan Braun – Right thumb contusion – 15-day DL
- Alfredo Figaro – Strained right oblique – 15-day DL
- Aramis Ramirez – Sprained left knee – 15-day DL
- Yovani Gallardo – Strained left hamstring – 15-day DL
- Rickie Weeks – Left hamstring surgery – 60-day DL (out for season)
Two of the Brewers best offensive weapons (Braun and Ramirez) dealt with injuries throughout the season, never being able to fully produce. At one point, Braun was unable to grip a bat due to severe thumb pain, and Ramirez’s pain in his left knee never ceased. It’s hard to have a potent offense when your two stars are debilitated.
The likes of Donovan Hand and Burgos were forced to make spot starts because of injuries to the rotation. The Brewers started 12 different pitchers last season, two seasons removed from starting six.
Let me be clear. The abundance of injuries was not the reason the Brewers were 14 games under .500 and 23 games back of first place, but it certainly didn’t help.
Going forward, Milwaukee’s offense should be better than last year. Braun is back for a full season and the permanent additions of Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett should boost production. The rotation still has its issues and it’s unclear what it’ll look like. But, if injuries become a recurring problem, all of that is moot.