Apparently an All-Star Game selection was Superman’s kryptonite this season.
The Halos’ Superman of the first half, Torii Hunter, withdrew himself from competing in the upcoming MLB All-Star Game today due to an injury he’s been playing with for almost 2 months. Nelson Cruz, a power-hitting outfielder for the Texas Rangers will replace Hunter in the Mid-Summer Classic.
As you may remember back in the first series with the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine in May, Torii slammed into the center field wall straight on while trying to make a grab on a long fly ball. Well, like Torii usually does, he made the catch… but he had to come out of the game for what would later be a nagging strained adductor muscle in his right side. He would re-aggravate it in a series with the San Francisco Giants in mid-June on an eerily similar play.
This injury not only forces Hunter out of what would have been his 3rd All-Star game, but also forces him to go on the Disabled List, where he’s eligible to come off and play on July 22nd.
If there’s any time to go on the DL, it’s now. With only 1 series left to play before the All-Star break, he’s only scheduled to miss 9 games, instead of being somewhere around 13 or 14 games if it had been any other time during the year.
Hunter also earlier declined an invitation to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby.
The Angels’ offensive leader is tops on the team in home runs with 17, and his 65 RBI ranks 3rd best in the American League.
As they say, misery loves company. It’s hard to call Torii misery, but his company will be Vladimir Guerrero.
The Big Daddy will join Mr. Hunter on the DL as well after planting his left leg awkwardly in right field during a game with the Rangers Tuesday night.
The current diagnosis consists of a strained muscle behind his left knee, as well as a hamstring strain.
Just as it seemed the Vladdy was getting his extra-base power back, he hits another setback in a year where he’s already missed 38 games while on the Disabled List. Vlad is scheduled to come off the DL at the same time as Hunter.
Coming up to replace the two men who combine for 11 All-Star appearances will be catcher Bobby Wilson, and “Mr. Get called up, play a few games, get sent back down” himself, 3rd baseman Brandon Wood.
This may now allow Jeff Mathis to be the regular catcher, while moving Mike Napoli back to the Designated Hitter role where he hit the ball exceptionally well earlier in the season with Vlad on the DL.
Wilson is hitting .261 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI for AAA Salt Lake.
As for Wood, he’s batting .313 with 17 homers and 52 RBI and has the 3rd best slugging percentage mark in the Pacific Coast League with a .592 mark for the Salt Lake Bees.
The Halos have a tough 3-game set with the Yankees before the All-Star break, and without their #3 and 4 hitters in the lineup, they’ll have their work cut out for them against quality starters in Joba Chamerlain, Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia.