The New York Yankees saw an All-Star team’s worth of talent on the injury list last season. After an overhaul of the strength and conditioning staff, we were all lead to believe that things would be different this season.
Oh, how wrong we were to assume.
Who’s Hurt/Missing So Far
Aaron Judge has yet to play in a Spring Training game. He’s hitting, he’s throwing, but if he’s healthy, why not start? Domingo German won’t be here until June, and he was told to stay in the Dominican Republic for Spring Training. Speaking as someone with chronic back pain, you CANNOT underestimate the severity of nagging back pain that will follow James Paxton the remainder of the season after having that cyst surgically removed. Aaron Hicks may not even be back at all this season, depending on how slow he is recovering from Tommy John. Luis Severino is gone until 2021. And now, Giancarlo Stanton has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 calf strain.
How Much Has Changed and How Serious is It?
That’s 5 high profile players who will be missing an impressive amount of time in 2020, which is still a far cry from the twenty-some-odd players we had on the IL last season. And there’s no guarantee that Stanton will miss more than a week or two at the start of the season. But good Lordy is it still frustrating. The new staff was supposed to change this, right?
But it isn’t as serious as people want to believe.
Look at how well we ended up doing last season without Severino until September. Piecing it together in the rotation until about June is manageable, especially with so many prospective starters in the house to fill in till then. We have Tauchman, we have Frazier, and we have Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar. So our outfield is safe if Stanton AND Judge miss a chunk of the early season. We still will see more players go on the IL throughout the year.
But it’s important not to panic right now. It’s February, not June. Cashman will figure something out. We’re still a full month away from Opening Day of 162. And we’re still the team to beat in the east.