Not even a week into the season and the New York Yankees are making news for the wrong reasons.
The team announced Monday that Giancarlo Stanton was heading to the injury list with a grade 1 bicep strain. Stanton claimed he suffered the injury during an at-bat on Sunday vs. Dylan Bundy; that’s according to reporting by Jack Curry. The Yankees are saying he will be back before May, but other complications have been causing issues for the Bronx Bombers.
None became more apparent when a few hours before the series opener against Detroit, Miguel Andujar was placed on the injured list with a shoulder issue. After the game, Aaron Boone told the press that the Rookie of the Year runner up had a labrum tear in his shoulder. Season-ending surgery was “on the table” according to Boone. Andujar will be re-evaluated in two weeks and then a decision will be made. His playing status this season is in doubt.
The Yankees’ injured list is loaded with talent – and that is far from a good thing..
Here’s a list New York players sidelined that was Tweeted by Coley Harvey:
The first three names on that list won’t be back until after the All-Star break so you could see one of them be transferred to the 60-day DL if more injuries arise.
The Yankees are combating the injuries by relying on a deep roster. Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier have been called up to replace Stanton and Andujar. Wade is a utility player who has experience at shortstop, second base, third base, and all three outfield positions. Frazier a natural outfielder will see time in left field and DH. Domingo German – who pitched five innings on Monday allowing one hit, an unearned run and striking out seven – will replace Severino for the time being. Jonathan Loaisiga, the Yankees’ number 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, will be called up to replace CC Sabathia in the rotation. Luis Cessa may also receive a few spot starts. German, Loaisiga, and Cessa are all young pitchers who are going to need to come up big for the Bronx Bombers moving forward.
German has plus stuff. He was the only pitcher in baseball who had a whiff rate over 20% and an ERA over 5 last year. The tools are there. Cessa had a strong spring and was good in his relief appearance against the Orioles on Sunday, giving up one run in 3.1 innings. Loaisiga has a high ceiling and showed flashes of brilliance last year when he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Phillies last year. Gio Gonzalez still needs some time to get ready but he could provide innings for the Yankees as well.
Offensively, the Yankees have made DJ LeMahieu the every day third baseman and that off-season signing now seems brilliant. He’s already shown off his defense and high contact rate. Putting the ball in play is needed in a lineup that has a lot of swing and miss potential. Troy Tulowitzki will still be needing a few days off a week so Tyler Wade will be getting a lot of opportunities to play. Wade has a lot to prove as he hasn’t performed at the Major League level. Wade hit .310 in 2017 at AAA and he’s a better defensive player than Andujar. This is the best chance Wade has gotten so far.
In the outfield, Frazier has tried to back up his talk since he was acquired by the Yankees. Frazier and Mike Tauchman are going to split time in left field until Stanton and Hicks return. Tauchman is sort of an unknown, a prospect who wasn’t given much of a chance in Colorado with the Rockies.
The Yankees need to survive April and should have a healthy roster when the calendar turns to May. While the fans might believe the sky is falling, New York has the kind of depth that can overcome an injury plague during the season’s first month.