Yankees’ Juan Soto provides optimistic injury update

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are holding their breath on Friday as superstar slugger Juan Soto heads to get imaging on his left forearm. The Bombers announced during a rain delay on Thursday night that Soto was pulled from the game prematurely, being replaced by Alex Verdugo in the outfield.

The initial fear was that maybe his body had tightened up, and the Yankees simply didn’t want to risk anything, but they later announced it was due to the left forearm issue, something that had been bothering him for about two weeks now.

Soto spoke to the media late after the game, stating that he’s been grinding through the injury and it doesn’t impact his throwing or batting, but it hurts more so when he moves it after winding down.

Managing Soto’s Injury and the Yankees’ Adjustments

If the injury isn’t hurting his ability to throw, the Yankees may have dodged a bullet, but they will get expert opinions to determine the severity of the issue and whether it requires downtime.

There are two players the Yankees simply can’t afford to lose: Soto and Aaron Judge. The 25-year-old is hitting .318/.424/.603, including 17 homers, 53 RBIs, and a 190 wRC+. He’s competing alongside Judge for a potential MVP, and he’s been nothing but tremendous for the Yankees this season, making a strong case to receive a blockbuster extension, hopefully remaining in the Bronx.

MLB: New York Yankees at Milwaukee Brewers, juan soto
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The worst-case scenario would be some sort of UCL injury, but to be clear, Soto would still be able to hit as the primary DH, even if he suffered a significant injury to his elbow. Think of Shohei Ohtani this season and the numbers he’s putting up, not to mention Bryce Harper dealing with a similar issue and receiving surgery in the off-season.

Considering how fast Jasson Dominguez has rebounded from his surgery, the fear should be targeted to the defensive side, where Soto is universally considered a bad defensive player who is overperforming this season. It’s still an issue that would require time to come back from.

That being said, if the Yankees were to feature Soto as their primary DH, that would leave Giancarlo Stanton out of the equation, which could lead to the Yankees calling up Dominguez, who’s been tearing the cover off the baseball at every minor level during his rehab assignments.

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