The injury bug has haunted the New York Yankees since Spring Training, decimating majority of the roster. CF Aaron Hicks, RF Aaron Judge, SS Didi Gregorious, DH Giancarlo Stanton, Catcher Gary Sanchez, 3B Miguel Andújar, LF Clint Frazier, 1B Greg Bird, and 2B Troy Tulowitzki all filled the I.L at some point since the start of the season, not to be confused with the projected everyday lineup of the Yankees. The offense is not the only part of the team that were struck with the injury bug, as the ace of the staff RHP Luis Severino, LHP James Paxton, LHP CC Sabathia, and Relief Pitcher Dellin Betances all have spent time injured. Any team that loses literally the entire team to injury, struggling to field a team night in and night out, should be bottom feeders. Welp not the Yankees, as they have pieced together wins to stay afloat as their star players rehab and make their way back to the Bronx one at a time.
What The Injuries Taught Us
You can argue it was great team building by G.M Brian Cashman, but let’s be honest no general manager plans for their entire team to be injured all at once. Cashman never planned on Domingo German being the teams best pitcher considering he was at best the 6th man in the rotation when everyone was healthy. Cashman never thought his infield would consist of Gio Urshela, Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada and Mike Ford, all who were expected to be on the Yankees minor league team. And if you told Cashman that Mike Tauchman, who wasn’t even a part of the team until the last day of spring training and Cameron Maybin, who was playing for the Cleveland Indians Minor League team just a week ago, would be playing in place of MVP candidates Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Brian Cashman would be pulling whatever hair he has left out. But what we learned from all that is Brian Cashman can piece together a team with the scraps left over, and has somehow created leverage for future potential trade talks as his players have shown they can play at a major league.
We also learned that 1B Luke Voit is for real. Last August when the St.Louis kid joined the Yankees and went on an absolute tear down the stretch, people were wondering if it was just a fluke as the 28-year-old had never produced at that clip in his entire career. However with all the injuries the team has faced this season, Voit has put the team on his back at times, continuing his production from last season, proving that it was no fluke, rather just the first true chance he was given. A 41 game on base streak, 9 Homeruns, slugging .504 and OBS .881 , Voit has proven he is now a staple of this Yankees team.
Bronx Bombers Returning One By One
The Yankees are looking more and more familiar to its fans as their top players are coming off the I.L one by one. Gary Sanchez, arguably the best catcher in the game rejoined the team last week and instantly produced wins. Sanchez has 20 Hits, 11 of which are Homeruns in just 20 games played this season.
Gary Sanchez is now tied for the AL lead in home runs.
He missed two weeks. (via @Yankees) pic.twitter.com/5YpVsivLTH
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 4, 2019
Miguel Andújar, runner up for the Rookie of the year last season, and offensive machine returned this weekend and should bring some fire power to the depleted Yankees lineup. Clint Frazier who had a week or so stretch of carrying the Yankees offensively returns Monday. Like Andujar and Sanchez, Frazier should bring power and that “Bronx Bomber” mentality along with him.
It is quite remarkable that they sit with a 19-14 record, just 2 games back of the division leading Tampa Bay Rays. As long as the replacements can stay within range of the division title until the entire band can return at full strength, the Yankees will be sitting pretty in the second half of the season. On the horizon for returns are Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki and James Paxton. All of who will have a significant impact once they arrive back in pinstripes. In the far distance Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorious, and Luis Severino lurk, and will serve as that late July reinforcement that every playoff team dies for.
If the team meets its end goal of wining the franchise 28th World Series Championship come October, the season will set up as a Hollywood script. A team battered and bruised, the all star roster depleted by injury saved by a cast of misfits and unknown talents would be quite the storyline for the hypothetical Championship DVD.