UPDATE: Span is finally headed to the disabled list, one day before rosters would have expanded anyway and 18 days after his initial injury.
Denard Span injured his shoulder on August 12 and was officially deemed “day-to-day.”
He then proceeded to sit out 11 consecutive days, all while remaining on the Twins’ active roster instead of going on the disabled list. Span returned to the lineup on August 23, played four of the next five games, and then headed to the sidelines again with more shoulder pain.
Today he’s out of the lineup for the 13th time in the past 17 games, although at least he was able to go through with an MRI exam this week after initially being too claustrophobic last week.
Minnesota’s aversion to putting injured players on the disabled list stretches back to last season and Span is just the latest and perhaps most extreme example. Rosters expand on September 1, so the Twins have dragged his situation out long enough that a DL stint is no longer even necessary. Mission accomplished?
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.