Injured stars that would make a difference

Injured stars that would make a difference

Of all the stories from this captivating Major League Baseball season, the saddest are injury stories. Several teams have been plagued by ailments to start the campaign. This was somewhat to be expected: After a brief 2020 campaign, players’ natural rhythms and routines were disrupted, which will inevitably result in further injuries.

But heading into the second half, several stars are also back. There will be several trades in the coming weeks, but for most teams, the best reinforcement they could have going down the stretch would simply be the return of their figures from injuries.

Here are 11 key players we could see in the next month who could impact the postseason berth struggles more than any trade. In addition, we will be grateful to see you on the ground.

Shane Bieber, RHP, Cleveland

Out since June 13: Right shoulder pull.

The reigning AL Cy Young winner has been resting and rehabbing his shoulder since his worst start of the season, and is reportedly a few weeks away from pitching from a mound. Although a bit far off, the Tribe is still in contention and if they can stay afloat through mid-August, Bieber could be the spark his club desperately needs.

Out since June 16: Left thigh pull

The third baseman will begin his rehab shortly after the All-Star break and could rejoin the team at the end of the month. Houston has looked like the powerhouse it has been for the past five years, and Bregman could give the Astros all their weapons again, at least on offense.

Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Mets

Has not pitched in 2021: Right hamstring tear

Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets

Has not released since 2019: Operation Tommy John

Having the Venezuelan Carrasco and Syndergaard could be the boost the New York team needs precisely… and it would make their rotation more impressive. Carrasco might be the first to return, but the Mets – for now at least – would have what it takes for both right-handers to advance cautiously. Can you imagine if you are ready to pitch at your highest level for the postseason?

Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals

Out since May 31: Pull in the left oblique

The St. Louis squad is 14-22 since Flaherty made his last start, and while Flaherty’s absence isn’t his only problem, it could be his biggest hit. The right-hander recently pitched from the mound for the first time since his ailment, and if he continues to progress, he could theoretically return in early August. If the Cardinals are still in contention by then, Flaherty would be the anchor of the much-needed rotation.

Eloy Jiménez, OF, White Sox

Has not played in 2021: Left chest tear

Luis Robert, OF, White Sox

Out since May 2: Tendon tear in the right hip

The fact that the Bigfoot are comfortable at the top of the AL Central and with the best record in the Young Circuit without two of the most electric hitters is a sign of how dangerous this team will be when the rangers return. Dominican Jiménez began playing in the Minor Leagues last week, and although Cuban Robert is moving slower, he has already begun to increase his baseball activities. Although Jiménez and Robert were considered by some to be the most fun reasons to watch the White Sox this year, the Chicago South club has been a huge draw without them. We can already imagine how they will look when they return.

Chris Sale, LZ, Red Sox

Has not released since 2019: Operation Tommy John

The Patirrojos have not been in a hurry to rehabilitate the left-hander, and will continue to bear in mind that the team’s success this year confirms that decision. Sale would be almost fully recovered when he returns, which would be in the midst of a fight for a playoff spot. Could a Sale in top form be the starter of a Game 1 of a postseason series?

Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers

Out since May 15: Right hand fracture

The shortstop’s return would be very timely for a Los Angeles team that is still second in the NL West. But for Seager it would also be the best possible moment as he is shaping up to become a free agent in the offseason. In a market full of shortstops, Seager might be the best.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals

Out since June 1: Pull in the neck

By now, the right-hander simply needs to show that he can stay healthy, rather than being one of the main pieces of the team. But with a rehab assignment on the horizon, apparently everyone will see the denouement.

Mike Trout, OF, Angels

Out since May 17: Right calf pull

While Shohei Ohtani has deservedly drawn all the attention on this team, it’s fair to say that having the best player of the last decade will go a long way. Los Angeles-Anaheim still has one of the Wilds in sight, and while Trout isn’t a pitcher, he’s key to any team hope. No other club will have a better reinforcement in these last three months. The only thing missing in this historic moment from Ohtani has been Trout by his side. We could finally see them play together, at their highest levels.