Yankees are now down 3 key infielders as injuries mount

Jun 6, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) reacts after being hit by a foul ball during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees experienced a few injuries, having escaped the first few months with minimal issues. Ultimately, it’s better for the Yankees to go through these trials and tribulations now than in September when they’re headed toward the postseason. However, the infield has been shredded, and three players have been lost over the past few weeks.

Yankees’ Injuries in the Infield

Recently, the Yankees have experienced a spate of injuries that have significantly impacted their infield. The most notable loss was Gleyber Torres, who sustained a right groin injury last Thursday. With Torres out, Oswaldo Cabrera is expected to step in at second base, showcasing his versatility.

Despite Torres’s underwhelming performance this season—marked by a .221 batting average, seven home runs, and an 87 wRC+—his absence is a significant blow to the team. As a pending free agent, Torres’s future with the Yankees and his market value are increasingly uncertain, especially given his defensive struggles, highlighted by a .962 fielding percentage and 11 errors.

May 23, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) follows through on an RBI sacrifice fly against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Other Key Players Sidelined

The injury woes extend beyond Torres. Anthony Rizzo, another crucial player, suffered a fracture in his right arm, sidelining him for six to eight weeks. Rizzo’s absence is particularly painful given his leadership role and experience, although the Yankees have been impressed with rookie Ben Rice’s offensive contributions. Depending on Rice’s continued performance, he might retain a starting role even after Rizzo’s return.

Moreover, Jon Berti, acquired from the Miami Marlins, is also on the 60-day injured list. Berti’s presence is missed, especially at third base, due to his speed and ability to capitalize on the base paths. His potential return in early August could provide a much-needed boost.

Financial Decisions and Future Moves

The Yankees face crucial financial decisions, particularly concerning Rizzo’s contract. With an option for the 2025 season priced at $20 million, the likelihood of moving on from Rizzo to free up funds for other significant expenditures, such as Juan Soto’s potential contract extension, is high.

Proactive Measures at the Trade Deadline

As the trade deadline approaches, General Manager Brian Cashman is under pressure to bolster the infield to sustain the team’s World Series aspirations. With multiple key players out, acquiring a starting-level infielder will be crucial for maintaining competitive momentum into the postseason.

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