Too Many Injuries, Can The Yanks Catch a Break?
On Wednesday night the New York Yankees took their second loss in as many games, a 10-6 beating by the first place Tampa Bay Rays. The Bronx Bombers are now four games behind the Rays in the AL East standings.
Not a productive night, by any means.
The real story isn’t tonight’s loss, however. It’s the fact that the Yankees seem to be dropping like flies. Tonight one more Yank was injured while another one was announced to be missing up to four weeks.
There’s a fine line between a couple of key guys going down and it getting ridiculous in terms of the injuries.
The Yankees have crossed that line.
Now that the injury bug has taken a huge chunk out of the Yankees, let’s assess their injury situation…
After tonight’s loss, it was announced that the Yankee catcher will be missing at least three weeks, possibly a month. On Sunday vs. the Minnesota Twins, Jorge Posada took a foul ball off his right foot hit by Michael Cuddyer.
Turns out Posada sustained a hairline fracture as a result of the foul ball.
Francisco Cervelli has been doing a fantastic job filling in for Posada, but make no mistake about it, Posada’s absence is a blow to the lineup. He is a key hitter and up until Sunday was doing a good job.
I mean, on Saturday he homered!
Since Posada will obviously be out for awhile, the Yankees need to get another catcher. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll call up either Jesus Montero or Austin Romine. Both players are top-notch catchers and are thought to be the next generation of Yankees.
According to Baseballreference.com, Montero is currently hitting .229 in 33 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees with three homers, 19 RBIs, and 13 runs scored.
Romine on the other hand is hitting .304 in AA Trenton with three homers, 23 RBIs, and 17 runs scored.
The numbers indicate Romine might be the better choice at the moment, but who knows. One of these kids might need to come up and help. Cervelli, although he is tearing it up, will need it.
As for Posada, get well soon. He claimed afterward that, “It will not take three or four weeks to get back.” But it doesn’t really matter. He hasn’t been playing anyway, so the Yanks’ best bet is to just put him on the DL and free up some roster room.
Unbelievable. Talk about going from on top of the world to the bottom of the underbelly of the universe basically overnight.
On Monday night, Marcus Thames played the role of unlikely hero, crushing the glorious walk-off home run off Jonathan Papelbon to beat the Red Sox 11-9.
Good work. Unfortunately the euphoric feeling didn’t last long.
The next night, not only did Thames make a crucial error on defense, he failed on offense. First it was an easy pop fly he dropped, which prolonged Boston’s big inning propelling them to a win.
And just when it seemed the Yanks were going to mount an awesome, game-tying comeback (much like they had on Monday night) Thames grounded to the pitcher with a runner on third. All he had to do was put the ball in the air to knot the game, but…no.
Wednesday night Thames, like many other Yankees, injured himself. He ripped a ball into the left field and on the way to first base stepped on the bat he used and came up limping.
He was diagnosed with a sprained ankle.
Why am I not surprised? It’s only fitting that our fourth outfielder (who can barely play the field as it is) had to get hurt, just like the rest of the outfielders.
Leaving the game, Ramiro Pena (a shortstop by trade) had to play right field for only the second time in his career.
He is listed as day-to-day and manager Joe Girardi stated after the game that, “There might be a move tomorrow.”
Take that for what it’s worth. As for Thames, I kind of hope he is injured and he goes to the DL. Maybe a stint on the disabled list can wake the Yankees up into the realization that they need someone who can play the outfield.
Thames is a good hitter; maybe worthy of the DH role. But he is not a defensive force, by any stretch of the imagination.
Other Notable Players Hurt
- Nick Swisher: Biceps
Not sure when he is slated to come back; hopefully before we play the Mets on Friday night. Right field, as evidenced tonight, is a disaster right now. Swisher needs to get better. Quickly.
- Curtis Granderson: Hamstring
When Curtis Granderson went down on May 1, he was hitting .225 and not really doing much to help the Yankees win. In a game like tonight, his presence may or may not have really made much a difference.
He was however playing a lot better defense than the outfielders now, and probably could have easily snapped out of the hitting slump with a little extra BP.
It was noted before the game that he’ll be back on June 1. It can’t come soon enough!
- Nick Johnson: Wrist
In Boston last weekend, Nick Johnson injured his wrist. He underwent surgery on Tuesday and will be out until at least July.
I, for one, am shocked. Not!
He is one player who just cannot stay healthy. If the Yankees really wanted a designated hitter this past off-season, they should have just signed Vladimir Guerrero. He may be aging, but at least he is never hurt.
Or they could have tried to get Hideki Matsui back. I mean…he was the World Series MVP!
Johnson was not the best choice for an everyday DH. He is too much of a liability and at this point, it’s looking like a bad signing. The Yankees needed to know that making this deal came with a risk. And now they’re seeing the end result of that.
No recent word on him. His stiff back sidelined him. Just what we need right now with the bullpen in shambles.
It has just been rough these past two days. Hang in there, Yankee fans. We are going through a hard time right now, and we’ll go through more hard times.
But the tough times just make the good times feel even better.
Tomorrow night: Andy Pettitte (5-0, 1.79 ERA) vs. James Shields (4-1, 3.00 ERA)
Let’s split this series and get our heads back in the game. Go Yankees!
On Another note:
I noticed John Jaso, the catcher on the Rays. Jaso played for the Hudson Valley Renegades in the minors, a Single-A farm team of the Rays. The Renegades play about ten minutes from where I grew up.
I went to a game a few years back and I remembered his name when I heard it during tonight’s game. I also realized tonight that I met him and I actually have his autograph! He signed a foul ball I got at a Renegades game back in 2005 (I think)
Anyway, here’s his John Hancock on my baseball: