Angels, M's gaining from injuries

Five teams getting big benefits from other teams' health problems

Updated: March 28, 2014, 11:54 AM ET
By Mike Petriello | ESPN Insider

Congratulations! If you're a major leaguer and you survived spring training, you're already doing a whole lot better than a number of your peers. From the near-endless run of pitching injuries -- sorry, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Derek Holland, Kris Medlen, Jarrod Parker, Bruce Rondon and others -- to Jurickson Profar's torn shoulder muscle to Jose Iglesias' stress fractures and on and on, this year's spring has been a meat grinder, and the domestic season hasn't even started yet.

With injuries to valuable players comes an inevitable impact on pennant races, particularly when some of those teams have realized that their backup alternatives are far from adequate.

Today, we count down five teams who are in better shape now than they were even a few weeks ago, if for no other reason than that their rivals for October have been slowed.

5. Seattle Mariners

Despite the acquisition of second baseman Robinson Cano, most had the Mariners safely pegged in fourth place in the AL West behind Oakland, Texas and Los Angeles, because this is still a team that lost 91 games last year and didn't do enough to answer questions in the rotation, outfield and behind the plate.