2011 Oriole Award: Worst Injury


Note: This is a new (and short) off-season feature in which I hand out my own awards to certain Orioles for this season. I will also include a poll at the end of every post so you can vote for your Oriole to win the award. Make sure to read the full article and vote!!

This week I’m starting this feature off with the worst injury award. So yes not all of these will be positive awards. This season the Orioles actually didn’t face too many injury issues when compared to other teams. Granted, there were some, but not tons. The season was lost no matter who got hurt and who didn’t so the only reason injuries mattered is for the future and for the players’ health and their dignity.

1. Brian Matusz

Starting off the season with our best pitcher hurting his intercoastal muscle before opening day when we barely had a pitching rotation was not the best thing. But we all thought he’d be fine a month or two into the season. We now know how wrong we were. Matusz came back from the DL and had one win over the rest of the season. He accumulated a 10.68 ERA, which was the worst ERA for a pitcher with at least 10 starts in MLB history. I’d like to stay on the bright side and chalk his incredible regress on his injury and that the coaches brought him back too soon and didn’t let him heal. But he got lit up in Triple-A as well. We won’t know the true Matusz situation until next season but if this season wasn’t just an anomaly due to injury, this club just got set back another 5-7 years because Matusz is our future.

2. Brian Roberts vs. Brian Roberts’ Head

This one was pretty much expected. Last season we saw how bad B-Rob’s injuries could get and why playing professional sports when you’re old is bad. I don’t think anyone expected him to play a full season or even close to a full season this year. However, I don’t think anyone expected him to play only 39 games. His injury occurred one game when he was trying to steal second, he slid right into the shortstop’s knee and got a concussion. He never stopped having concussion-like symptoms and hasn’t even taken batting practice or anything of the such. The most progress he’s made is practicing routine ground balls and maybe throwing the ball. He has a ton of money left in his contract but I don’t see him playing here next season. MLB.com reports that his injury is not career-threatening, however.

3. Justin Duchscherer vs. Orioles

Wow. This one is just wow. Who knew that the prospect of pitching for the Orioles was that terrible that this guy didn’t touch the mound or the dugout bench or the line-up card once this season. He had groin, back, and hip injuries all season and the furthest he got was a few exhibition games. At one point in the season, it looked like he may be making a return until he re-injured himself during an exhibition game. From there, it just down spiraled, which is unfortunate because I was really excited to see what he could do for our thin rotation. He won’t be resigned.