The Yankees could field a playoff team with their injured list

harrison bader, yankees

The New York Yankees have one of the best teams in baseball. The problem is a nice chunk of their primary starters are currently on the injured list. General manager Brian Cashman is keen on spending big to acquire World Series-caliber talent, but they consistently find their way to the IL and spend prolonged periods of time rehabilitating to make a minor impact.

Reality has already set in regarding Cashman’s inability to land big acquisitions that actually pan out. Whether it be Carlos Rodon’s new deal, which has six years on it and is already dealing with a forearm strain, or Stanton’s legs that seemingly can’t stay healthy, there is a long list of big-name players that have failed to live up to the hype donning the pinstripes.

Nonetheless, the Yankees push on and continue to rely on youth to help supplement those deficiencies. Their current injured list could field a playoff squad, which is quite insane to rationalize.

The Yankees have a star-studded injured list:

Giancarlo Stanton

When healthy, Stanton is one of the best hitters in baseball, getting off to a hot start this year with a .269 average, slapping four homers and 11 RBIs across 54 plate appearances. Stanton’s numbers have slowly been trending down the past two seasons, recording a career-low .211 BA and .297 OBP in 2022. The injuries have begun to impact his consistency significantly, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Stanton is expected to have a 4–6 week timetable for return, but I would look toward the more extended portion of that timeline.

Luis Severino

Starting pitcher Luis Severino is progressing well in his recovery from a right lat strain. He is expected to return later this month or in early May, starting to get more innings under his belt through simulations. Three days ago, Severino enjoyed two innings worth of action and is expected to face off against Harrison Bader as the two prepare for a return.

While Luis is making positive progress, he still needs a few opportunities in the minor-league system after getting batted around during spring training. Coming off a good year, the Yankees need him to be a primary variable in their starting rotation but expect him to struggle a bit out of the gate.

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon has been dealing with a left elbow strain and now back stiffness, making his new six-year contract much more confusing. Many were taken aback by Cashman‘s willingness to extend him on such a long-term deal, and the cautious clubs are likely grinning from ear to ear.

The newfound back injury has slowed his progress, so I wouldn’t expect to see him until mid-May at the very earliest.

Harrison Bader

Bader is scheduled to face Severino in a live batting session this week, sparking hope for a return. Bader was a playoff hero for the Yankees last year, hitting five homers in nine games, and should assimilate quickly back to his typical role in center field. Bader is an elite defensive player and will boost the bottom of the batting order.

Jonathan Loaisiga

Loáisiga is one of the best bullpen arms on the team when healthy and in rhythm. Unfortunately, he’s been dealing with shoulder and elbow injuries for the last year. His most recent issue was right elbow inflammation, and while he could resume his throwing program later this week, they are going to take it very slowly with his ramp-up. Luckily, there is no ligament damage, simply inflammation, so they need to wait for that to subside.

Lou Trivino

Acquired in the Frankie Montas deal last summer, Lou Trivino was a tremendous piece for the Yankees during the year’s second half. He is recovering from a right elbow ligament sprain but is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this week, potentially facing live batters. He’s making good progress, but his expected return date could be a month from now.

Scott Effross

The Yankees will likely be without Scott Effross the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery at the end of 2022. Effross is a quality relief pitcher with little to no service time. He will be an impact player for the Bombers over the next few seasons, but we shouldn’t expect to see him appear this year.

Frankie Montas

Frankie Montas is yet another dud from Cashman, who traded one of the team’s top pitching prospects in return. Montas could appear in August, but missing nearly an entire year doesn’t indicate he will be much use. The Yankees ignored that Montas wasn’t 100% when they acquired him at the trade deadline, making the deal even more concerning.

Tommy Kahnle

Cashman signed bullpen piece Tommy Kahnle to a two-year, $11.5 million deal, which is turning out to be a complete waste of financial resources. Kahnle is dealing with right biceps tendinitis, and while he’s doing well in his throwing program, I wouldn’t expect to see him for another few weeks at the very earliest. Kahnle is an injury-prone player, and the Yankees spent big on his services, a trend that’s becoming ever more prevalent.

Luis Gil

One of the team’s exciting young pitchers, Luis Gil, is recovering from Tommy John surgery he underwent last May. They expect him back during the second half of the 2023 season, but he doesn’t have much MLB experience, and the team may have a few other arms readily available. He’s another player that we may not even see this season unless the Yankees have an opening he can fill.

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