New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez receives positive injury news

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

This season, the New York Yankees have seen over 24 players on the injured list. That is almost an entire roster.

The fact that the Yankees are in first place by a large margin only attached to their strong will and discipline. A recent sweep of the Boston Red Sox shows their dominance and how they can weather any storm, including injuries.

Players seem to show up out of nowhere and contribute towards run production and defensive prowess, a tall task for alternatives that are being pulled up from the minor-league level on a daily occurrence.

One player of the Yankees have missed recently is catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a groin strain. The anticipation is that he will return sometime this week to take over for Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka.

Before being injured Gary Sanchez was hitting .229 with 43 runs, 24 home runs, and 58 RBIs. His offensive production fell off a bit after the All-Star break, but his home run totals have been fantastic and his defense has been much improved after a strenuous 2018 season.

In addition to Sanchez, multiple starting-caliber players are also dealing with injuries, but the Yankees will return several in August.

CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Loaisiga, David Hale, Luis Severino, and Edwin Encarnacion, I’ll have a chance to return by months end. Several could return early in September before a playoff appearance.

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The Yankees have struggled significantly with injuries this season, but they have stepped up to the plate and supplemented the loss of several key players. Options like Gio Urshela and Cameron Maybin have both played fantastic baseball in the absence of Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton.

The Yankees are currently eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay rays and 14.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. They are in the right place heading into the remainder of the season and will likely eclipse the 100 win mark once more. Gaining back several influential players before the postseason will give them the boost they need to make a run at the World Series.

New York Yankees: Voit And Hale To The IL

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

In case you missed it, the New York Yankees placed first baseman Luke Voit and reliever David Hale on the 10 day injured list.  Voit is on the IL with a sports hernia, and Hale is on with a lumbar strain.

Yankee skipper Aaron Boone didn’t have much concern about Hale, saying he should be back in no time. But things get a bit more complicated with Voit.

The team is in a 24-48 hour waiting period with him to see how the injury repairs itself in that time span. Then, they will look at it again to decide if he will need surgery. If he does, he likely wouldn’t be healthy again until the postseason. If results come back clean, he should be ready once the 10 days end

Voit sustained the injury on a swing in Tuesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. We don’t know exactly how Hale was injured.

Recalls

To fill the two roster spots, the team has recalled Breyvic Valera and Jonathan Holder from AAA.

Valera is a versatile infielder who the team claimed off of waivers early in the season from the Giants, then proceeded to rake in AAA. Valera appeared in a Yankee uniform last time Voit was sidelined by an injury, so in mid-July.

Holder is still a work in progress after his poor start to 2019, but has fired a scoreless major league inning since initially being sent down in June.

It’s good that Hale should be back soon because he has made a quiet but great impact in the bullpen. Losing Voit for the rest of the season could be devastating, and here’s to hoping for positive results.

New York Yankees: The Man Behind A Lot Of The Bullpen Success

New York Yankees, Chad Green

The New York Yankees have had a dominant bullpen this year, and a lot of the success is attributed to a man that we barely know. Meet Tommy Phelps, the pitching coach for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders.

Phelps has had an enormous impact on the Yankees bullpen this year. He has worked with Nestor Cortes Jr., David Hale, and Steven Tarpley and all three have pitched great in the majors.

Cortes Jr. has pitched 37 and 1/3 innings for the Yankees this year, and has a 4.34 ERA and a 3-0 record. He has often seen several innings of work in bullpen games to transition from the starter (Chad Green) to high leverage guys.

Speaking of Green, Phelps also fixed Chad Green after an awful start to the season. After an ERA of over 16.00 at the end of April, Green has bounced back and has only given up two runs since the end of May.

David Hale has had a breakout season in 2019, and has even seen some high leverage situations. He is also 3-0, and his ERA is just 2.23 over 32 and 1/3 innings.

Stephen Tarpley has an ERA over 7.00, but has emerged as a cheat code to lefties. Lefties have just a .059 average against Tarpley, while righties bat almost .400 against him. Pitching to righties needs to improve, but Tarpley dominates against lefty-heavy lineups.

Jonathan Holder also got off to an awful start to 2019, and is currently in AAA to get fixed like did. He has pitched well of late for the Railriders, and we may see Holder back in the Yankee bullpen soon.

Tommy Phelps has done a fantastic job with pitchers in AAA this season, and his impact has been significantly felt on the Yankees this year.

Yankees Acquire Reclamation Project RHP A.J. Cole

On Monday night, after the fireworks died down from a 14-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman acquired for cash righty starting pitcher A.J. Cole, a reclamation project who had been designated for assignment recently by the Washington Nationals.

David Hale, who had made his Yankee debut Monday evening, pitched two scoreless innings and after the game was designated for assignment to make room for Cole on the 25 man roster.

Cole, 26, was a former prospect in the Nationals’ system and was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 52 prospect in its top 100 for 2015. Cole worked exclusively as a starter for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals’ Triple-A club, in 2015-2017, while also going up and down with the big club in both a starting and relieving role.

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In 2017, Cole had a combined 3-5 record with the Nationals as a starter (eight games) and a reliever (three games), posting a 3.81 ERA across 52 innings, giving up 22 runs on 51 hits, eight of them homers with 44 strikeouts and 27 walks.

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To begin the season, Cole was named as the Nationals’ fifth starter. In his first start of the season on April 3 against the Braves, Cole hit his first major league home run, but also gave up 10 earned runs to the Braves to tie Jeremy Guthrie for the franchise record for earned runs given up in a game by a starter, according to Wikipedia. After another abbreviated start and several unsuccessful relief appearances, Cole was designated for assignment by the Nationals on April 20.

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According to Brooks Baseball, Cole primarily relies on his slider (83 mph), four seam fastball (93 mph), curve (79 mph) and also mixes in a sinker (92 mph) and change (87 mph).

Cole is a reclamation project. He will take David Hale’s place in the bullpen and be used by the Yankees for length, to eat innings.