Lately a lot of players have gone done in injuries for contending teams. I will focus on some of the major ones and explain how it will effect the team.
3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
What is it?: non-displaced facture of right wrist
How long will he be out?: about three weeks
How will it affect the team?: Longoria has been a rookie of the year candidate the whole year through so the injury could effect the voting for ROY and put a stop to the Rays' reign at the top of the AL East. Longoria has been one of the best power hitters in the league so far, hitting 22 home runs and 71 runs batted in over a span of just 381 at-bats. Tampa Bay has basically looked for him to give them all of their power. Now Ben Zobrist will fill in. Zobrist has good power but he can't hit for contact very well so this season could get ugly in a hurry.
OF Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays
What is it?: torn tendon in right hand
How long will he be out?: about 40 days, could be season ending
How will it affect the team?: Tampa Bay already has one player down, let's go for another. Crawford has been one of the most feared base stealers in the past few years and the Rays will sourly miss the speed that he brings to the table, day in and day out. He had pop, he could hit for contact and he could field. Rocco Baldeli, the likely replacement for Crawford, just got of the disabled list so he could take some time getting back into the groove of things. He has also seen better days (his average is under .215 since the start of 2006). There is also a chance he would go right back on the DL again since he is injury prone.
SP Tim Wakefield, Boston Red Sox
What is it?: stiffness in back of shoulder
How long will he be out?: 2-3 weeks
How will it affect the team?: Well, it won't affect them a ton, the Red Sox already have a great rotation and they can turn to players in their farm system if need be. In fact, the Red Sox are using someone out of their farm system, Charlie Zink. Wakefield was having one of his best season in years so it may affect them a little bit, but the Red Sox can live with it.
SP Jose Contreras, Chicago White Sox
What is it?: ruptured left achiles' heel
How long will he be out?: rest of the season, and possibly the rest of his career
How will it affect the team?: Contreras has been a very reliable starter for the White Sox this year. He has won seven games and that is very good considering that he almost lived on the DL this season. His replacement Boone Logan isn't great and this tight division race that the White Sox are in with the Minnesota Twins could come down to pitching so it could be major trouble for Chicago, expecially if he retires because of his injury. Then Chicago will be in trouble for next season as well.