Yankees’ season in danger before it begins as injuries pile up
The New York Yankees have been lambasted as the “evil empire,” an unstoppable winning machine that consistently beats down on weaker teams and mashes the ball out of ballparks across America. But this year, they may be very stoppable as they have contracted the injury bug and several of their star players are likely to miss significant times this year.
Alex Rodriguez received surgery on his hip this past January and could miss the entire 2013 season. While this certainly is good news to newcomer Kevin Youkilis, it may spell bad news for the Yankees. Although A-Rod may be facing the back-end of his career, he is still an offensive force to be reckoned with. He still totals an average of at least 15 home runs and 50-plus RBIs per year despite a recent downturn in performance. There is a possibility A-Rod could return by midseason, but he is also plagued by new steroid rumors and his status with the Yankees is very much in doubt.
Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch in a Spring Training game the other week, something that happens all the time as pitchers shake off the rust from the winter. But unfortunately for Granderson, the resulting injury was more than just a stinging bruise; that pitch broke Granderson’s forearm and put him on the DL for 10 weeks. Thanks to a meaningless exhibition game, the Yankees lost their star center fielder and biggest power threat for the first couple of months of the season.
Mark Teixeira is the latest Bronx Bomber to go on the DL, and like Granderson, he is expected to miss 8-10 weeks. Texieira sustained a tendon sprain in his wrist that could take quite a bit of time to heal. The injury is especially hard on the Yankees considering Granderson’s injury, as losing Teixeira and Granderson essentially wipes out their two biggest offensive threats in the lineup.
For many years, the Yankees relied on power and home runs to win ballgames, but with the loss of their biggest heavy hitters, they may have to experiment with small ball and strategy. Girardi may be at a loss for talent, but the Yankees will adapt to their new circumstances.
“You’ve got to find a way,” Girardi said. “That’s our job, to find a way to win games, and we’ll do that. We’ll just have to do it without Tex and Grandy for a little bit.”
Anything can happen in baseball. Great teams on paper end up flopping miserably (cough, 2011 Red Sox, cough) and the underdogs can rise up to win in the end. The Yankees may be down, but they most certainly are not out. With a strong pitching core and a decent bench, the Yankees still pose a threat to the AL East.