The New York Yankees find themselves in a precarious position at 73-72, teetering on the brink of their first losing season since 1992. They’re currently languishing at the bottom of the AL East standings. While critics might point to poor offseason planning, depth issues, and an inexplicable tolerance for underperforming veterans, it’s crucial to acknowledge the undeniable impact of injuries on the team’s performance this season.
The Injury Epidemic in Yankees Baseball
Unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of any sport, including baseball. However, teams that have successfully invested in quality depth can generally weather these storms much better. Evidently, this hasn’t been the case for the Yankees, who have been beleaguered by a seemingly endless wave of season-ending injuries to key players.
In recent days, five vital Yankees players have been declared out for the rest of the season: Jonathan Loáisiga, Néstor Cortés Jr., Luis Severino, Jasson Domínguez, and Anthony Rizzo.
A Crowded Injured List
The Yankees’ Injured List (IL) is arguably one of the most populated in all of Major League Baseball.
Néstor Cortés Jr. was moved to the 60-day injured list this Tuesday due to persistent issues with his left rotator cuff. Having made just 12 starts this season, he wrapped up the year with a disappointing 4.97 ERA.
On the same day, Jonathan Loáisiga was placed on the 15-day injured list, backdated to September 10, owing to inflammation in his right elbow. This development effectively ends his season, during which he achieved a respectable 3.06 ERA.
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Players Making Progress but Out for the Season
Anthony Rizzo was already on the injured list but recently got transferred to the 60-day IL. The team doesn’t want to accelerate his return from post-concussion syndrome despite evident improvement in his condition.
Jasson Domínguez made waves with four home runs in his first seven games, only to tear his UCL during a series against the Houston Astros. He, too, has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Lastly, Luis Severino will miss what’s left of this year due to a high-grade left oblique strain.
Not Just the Recent Injuries
It’s not just these five who are missing in action; the Yankees have also been without the services of Scott Effross, Lou Trivino, Ian Hamilton, Kenyan Middleton, Frankie Montas, and José Trevino.
The Injury Factor: A Tough Pill to Swallow
While it’s true that the Yankees have had their fair share of mistakes this season, it’s challenging to overlook the detrimental role injuries have played. It’s hard to think of another team more severely impacted by injuries throughout the entire season.
So yes, while the Yankees did make errors in judgment and strategy, the injury curse has been an equally compelling narrative in their underwhelming 2023 season. The extent to which injuries have derailed their season presents a complex challenge for both the team and its management, raising questions about depth, medical care, and future planning.