After finishing the semester from hell, I will now be returning to 1-2 posts per day. And I’d like to start with something that I’ve been thinking about for some time.
The Yankees have had a bad week on the injury front. To recap, they are:
- Curtis Granderson is to miss about a month with a groin pull.
- Nick Johnson to miss an undetermined amount of time with a wrist injury.
- Andy Pettitte to miss at least one start with elbow inflammation.
- Jorge Posada has missed several games with a knee issue, and may miss more going forward.
- Alex Rodriguez is dealing with a knee issue, has missed some time, and may be slumping as a result.
- Robinson Cano may miss a few days after being hit in the knee with a Josh Beckett pitch.
- Chan Ho Park is still on the 15-day DL with a hamstring pull.
- Mariano Rivera has been unavailable for several days (though could have pitched yesterday) with tightness in his right side.
Its a debilitating bevy of injuries, but the Yankees have mostly held it together thanks to some of the best starting pitching and defense we’ve seen in a long time. However, the injuries are going to cost the Yankees in the future, and the Yankee starting pitching luck will eventually run out.
It seems like a lot of injuries, and some (Cano, Granderson) are legitimate bad luck. However, the injuries to the other players should be expected. A good portion of the Yankee core is really old – Posada is 38, Rivera is 40, Pettitte is 38, Arod is 34, and Chan Ho Park is 37. On top of all that, Nick Johnson is the most injury prone of the crew, despite being a bit younger. With a lineup as risky as this one is, the team should expect their players to miss a lot of time.
The Yankees have gotten by with an incredibly lucky streak in recent years. Our old players just haven’t played like old players. But you can’t defy the odds forever. With so many aging stars on the roster, the Yankees should be prepared with effective Plan Bs to take their place. But instead of Jerry Hairston Jr. we have Ramiro Pena. Instead of Austin Jackson, we have Greg Golson. Instead of Mike Dunn, we have Boone Logan. Instead of Ian Kennedy, we have Romulo Sanchez.
Unfortunately, the team cleared a lot of their depth away in order to trade for Curtis Granderson and Javy Vazquez this offseason. I don’t think those were bad trades, because they filled necessary holes, but the team is left looking fairly light on depth right now. On top of it all, the Yankees are struggling to settle in David Robertson and Damaso Marte, two incredibly important pieces of their bullpen, and don’t have a whole lot after Mark Melancon to call up.