Ah, April. What a glorious month for the baseball fans in America. The fields and ballparks appear to be pristine, the fans are full of high hopes for their clubs and the players are looking forward to making their mark in the upcoming season.
In short, April is fabulous - except for those whose season is already done.
For a ballplayer, there's nothing worse than knowing you won't be playing at all in a given season. Whether it's an injury that occurs in spring training that requires surgery and/or other intensive rehabilitation or some other equally-disastrous reason, it's heartbreaking for a person to have his season taken from him as it begins for everybody else. Certainly, this is a disheartening event for athletes in any sport. But for Major League Baseball players, it's even more demoralizing because they have 162 games to be reminded about their condition and playing status, and to realize that their team is proceeding on their journey without them.
Instead, these individuals must focus on their rehabilitative efforts and try to proceed on their recovery schedules, without overdoing it and causing more problems. And as this list will attest, there's no guarantee after all of the months of hard work that they will be back to 100% and ready for the 2015 campaign.
It's no picnic for the clubs, either. Organizations turn over a new year on their calendars and begin planning how to succeed in the coming season. But then, managers and front office personnel are forced to scramble and plug holes that were vacated when one of the players they were counting on goes down before May even arrives. Some teams never recover from playing catch-up, and their performance suffers as a result.
Ten such players (and their clubs) are facing this cruel reality right now. Here is a list of the players who did not make it to Tax Day before being scratched for the season.
10 Patrick Corbin, SP - Arizona Diamondbacks
9 Kris Medlen, SP - Atlanta Braves
8 Ryan Dempster, SP - Boston Red Sox
7 Avisail Garcia, RF - Chicago White Sox
6 Luke Hochevar, RP - Kansas City Royals
5 Brian Moran, RP - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4 Bobby Parnell, RP - New York Mets
3 Jarrod Parker, SP - Oakland Athletics
2 Cory Luebke, SP - San Diego Padres
1 Alex Rodriguez, 3B - New York Yankees
Okay, this was no surprise. After abandoning his appeal earlier this year, A-Rod agreed to sit out the 2014 campaign, even though he'll still be paid $2.9 million of his salary and $3 million of his signing bonus under his contract terms. Everyone has an opinion of Rodriguez, whether or not he used performance-enhancing drugs, and how he was treated by MLB (and these opinions may not necessarily be consistent). But the bottom line is that the Bronx Bombers will be without a career .299 hitter who goes yard once every 15 times on average. It remains to be seen just how much the 38-year old will be missed in 2014.
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