Injuries are a part of sports, but what is going on in New York is nothing short of unfair. The Yankees have more players on the IL than wins combined between the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros. What in the world is going on? Every game it seems someone new is ending up on the IL and damaging the team. At first, we certainly had enough depth to cover a few injuries. but now the total is up to 11, and a team that was favored to win the World Series is now just trying to throw a competitive team out on the field every day. The IL consists of position player starters, starting pitchers and bullpen pitchers, as the list consists of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Troy Tulowitzki, Jacoby Ellsbury, Miguel Andujar, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Ben Heller and Dellin Betances. That is an elite group of players, all out due to injury in what feels like the most unfair start to a season of all time.
However, the Yankees are still fielding a team that included Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Adam Ottavino and Aroldis Chapman. Still, with 11 elite players on the IL, they still have an above average team on the field, which is why I’m worried. As I said, injuries are a part of sports, and when your “next man up” are guys like Brett Gardner and D.J LeMahieu, you should be fine in the short term. However, against awful teams like the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers, the Yankees have started their season 2-4. It has been awful, every player on offense has no game plan, looking to pull the ball and swinging for the fences. Two nights ago the Yankees left 12 runners on base, and last night struck out 18 times. Totally unacceptable numbers from what is still an above-average offense.
While this start has been far from what you want, players will come back, as the only long term looking injury is Miguel Andujar, who is being filled in by D.J LeMahieu. On the bright side, the Red Sox and Astros have also gotten off to incredibly awful starts so we’re not buried yet, but they need to turn this around as soon as possible, like today. Also, the Yankees pitching has been great even with rotation fill-ins Domingo German and Jonathan Loisiaga.
The Yankees begin their first road trip of the season this afternoon as they face the Baltimore Orioles, and if they lose 2 of 3 again, I will be in full panic mode.