Braves' injuries reaching historic heights

Bill Shanks takes a closer look at how injuries have ruined the Braves' season.

Can you imagine if I had written an article back on February 15th with the following content:

You can forget about the Braves making the playoffs this season. They are going to be hit by injuries like never before. Okay, we already know Mike Hampton, Atlanta's number three starter, is going to miss the entire season. But I predict that Horacio Ramirez, John Thomson, and Kyle Davies, the Braves' bottom three starters behind John Smoltz and Tim Hudson, will miss at least half the season with injuries.

And then I think Chris Reitsma, John Foster, and Blaine Boyer, three pitchers we are currently counting on to be huge members of the Braves' bullpen, are going all going to miss at least half the season with two of those three missing the entire year.

If I had written this, you probably would have said, "If this comes true, the Braves are going to be in trouble."

Well it came true, and the Atlanta Braves are in trouble with a record of 59-67.

The onslaught of injuries to this team has been dramatic. Here is some information on how severe the injuries have been and how it matches up to other teams in baseball.

With the loss of Danys Baez today, that will be twelve players on the Atlanta Braves' Disabled List:

Mike Hampton
John Thomson
Horacio Ramirez
Kyle Davies
Danys Baez
Chris Reitsma
Blaine Boyer
John Foster
Phil Stockman
Willy Aybar
Brian Jordan
Kelly Johnson

Only the Washington Nationals have more players than the Braves on the disabled list. Here are the teams with most players on the DL right now:

1. Nationals - 13 (1238 games missed)
2. Braves - 12 ( 920 games missed)
3. Cubs – 9
4. Yankees – 8
5. Mets – 7
5. Reds – 7
5. Royals – 7

There are currently 140 players on the disabled list around major league baseball. That's an average of 4.66 players per team on the DL. The NL average is 5.375, while the AL average is 3.9 players on the DL.

Here are the days missed by players on the DL this season:

Mike Hampton – 126
John Foster – 126
Kelly Johnson – 126
Kyle Davies – 88
Chris Reitsma – 60
Brian Jordan – 58
Horacio Ramirez - 58
Phil Stockman – 54
Blaine Boyer – 54
John Thomson – 53
Chuck James – 30
Chipper Jones – 25
Macay McBride – 23
Brian McCann – 15
Lance Cormier – 12
Willy Aybar – 12

TOTAL: - 920

With so many players missing the remaining of the season (36 games), this number will surpass 1200 by the end of the season.

Last season this total for the Braves was 497. In 2004 the total was 406.

Not many teams keep this information in their press notes. Only team I could find is the Nationals, who have had players miss 1238 games on the DL this season.

This has been an incredible season with injuries for the Atlanta Braves.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look at the Braves' traditional front office philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves' Radio Network. Email Bill at

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