The Grand Slam: 4 key injuries in 1 day

David Brown
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Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis challenges the interference call of umpire Jim Reynolds in the fourth innning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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Four teams are scrambling to cover their losses after a particularly harsh day of injuries in Major League Baseball.

WHO WILL SAVE THE YANKEES? They just officially installed right-hander David Robertson as closer after the retirement of Mariano Rivera, and Robertson was off to a fine start in 2014 before sustaining a Grade 1 groin strain Sunday. The Yankees had an MRI performed Monday to determine it. They don't expect him to miss more, or much more, than the minimum 15 days he'll spend on the sidelines. Shawn Kelley got a nine-pitch save Monday against the Orioles, with Adam Warren taking over in the eighth inning, but it's possible that manager Joe Girardi won't have the same arrangement for every save opportunity.

Robertson also missed time in 2012 because of a strained oblique. He seemed to be feeling a little sorry for himself this time, and understandably so, as quoted by the New York Times:

“It’s definitely a little frustrating,” he said. “It seems like something always happens to me. But there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no way I could go out there and feel 100 percent and do what I do with the way I’m feeling right now.”

The Yankees already had lost slugger Mark Teixeira over the weekend and put him on the DL on Monday with a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring. Moving over to first base temporarily will be Kelly Johnson.

DODGERS LOSE STARTING CATCHER: A.J. Ellis has torn cartilage in his left knee and is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery Tuesday. If the damage isn't found to be too bad, the team hopes Ellis will return in as few as four weeks. Ellis injured his knee planting it when rounding the third-base bag Saturday. The club already has Clayton Kershaw, Brian Wilson, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley on the disabled list, with Yasiel Puig also hobbled and out of the lineup. They do have Tim Federowicz available in the minors, and he is a probable call-up. The Dodgers' other catcher is Drew Butera, a defensive specialist with a .180 career batting average.


Infielder Omar Infante of the Kansas City Royals was bloodied and needed tests for a broken jaw and a concussion after being hit in the face with a wayward 89 mph fastball by Tampa Bay's Heath Bell in the seventh inning. Infante got to his feet quickly but obviously was shaken by the incident. He was unable to talk at the ballpark before heading to the hospital but reportedly gave teammate Alcides Escobar a "thumbs-up" before heading out. It would be a significant injury to the Royals, who signed Infante to a four-year, $30.25 million contract in the offseason after they had meager production at second base in 2013.

LESS MOORE WOULD BE MORE TROUBLE: In the same game, Rays left-hander Matt Moore left in the fifth inning because of discomfort in his left elbow. He didn't feel a "pop" but instead just soreness after throwing a changeup. The Rays told reporters that athletic trainer Ron Porterfield doesn't believe this elbow injury is as serious as the one that sidelined Moore for a month in 2013. If the Rays need to send Moore to the DL, left-hander Erik Bedard could join the team from the minors.

“I try to stay optimistic,” Moore said after the Rays' 4-2 loss. “It could be maybe just a little hyperextension action, because I had it before and it kind of went away. It's one of those things, almost like a bruise. It's really hard to get it to fire, for me to find that uncomfortable feeling. I think that's just a part of waiting until [Tuesday morning] when we get the MRI.”

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at and follow him on Twitter!

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