We received word yesterday that the New York Yankees would be placing two significant pieces on the 10-Day Injured List. Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andújar are going to be out of action for a bicep strain and small tear in the labrum of his right shoulder respectively. Now the question becomes what do the Yankees do next?
Next Man Up
The cliché motto in this situation is “the next man up.” And it’s with that mentality that the game continues. The Yankees have recalled Clint Frazier (OF) and Tyler Wade (UTL) to fill in for the injured starters. When the Yankees were going through Spring Training, Tyler Wade was playing very well. While Clint Frazier struggled a bit during the Spring season. This will now be the opportunity that both young players were hoping to have on March 28th. Both Wade and Frazier will have a chance to prove their worth as a Major League ballplayer. Because neither man’s time in the Bronx has been a positive experience. So it’s time for the next man up to put up or shut up.
The Bronx is Burning
No, we’re not talking about the ESPN series, we’re talking about the Yankees starting 25-Man roster. When Spring Training commenced with the players assembled by the Yankees Front Office this offseason, the Bronx was hyped. (Well the majority of it, we can’t claim everyone on Twitter that says they’re a Yankee fan.) There was an optimism about this team being the team to shatter records and win the seemingly elusive World Championship number 28.
But here we are, the second series of the year and the Yankees are raking up the list of men on the newly renamed “Injured List.” Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Jordan Montgomery, Ben Heller were already on the list. CC Sabathia was only named to the starting 25 to serve out his 5-game suspension for that dust-up in Tampa at the end of last season. Then CC, too, will be added to the Injured List. Add in the permanent resident of the Injured List, Jacoby Ellsbury. Then now add in two more with Stanton and Andújar, and the Yanks are ten deep on the Injured List, which is more players than any other team currently. It’s only the first week in April, but it feels like the Bronx is on fire right now.
Quelling the Rage
Yes, it feels as if the “baseball gods” are dropping the proverbial fecal storm over 161st and River Avenue. But let’s honestly assess one key piece of information about his storm, that’s seemingly being overlooked. IT IS APRIL 2ND. This is where I see a silver lining in the cloud of contempt over the Cathedral that is Yankee Stadium. If these injuries were to have taken place in August, they would be more than just painful losses. They would be devastating and possibly catastrophic to the Yankees chances of winning the AL East or making it into the playoffs at all. The fact that we are getting these injuries dealt with early, we can hopefully put them behind us moving forward in the 2019 season.
The other factor to account for during this wave of injuries is something we have to measure day-to-day. And that’s how this team plays in spite of these injuries. If the Yankees (who honestly should be 4-0 at this point imo, but I digress) are able to win the majority of their games, these injuries impact is lessened. Yes, it hurts even more right now to hear about Stanton and Andújar coming off two ugly losses to Baltimore. But if the Bronx Bombers go off and take hold of the next several series they play, these injuries won’t sting quite as bad. And the losses to Baltimore during the Opening Weekend of the season will become a footnote. A footnote in the World Series film put together by Major League Baseball as the 28th World Series banner is lifted in the Bronx.
One Step at a Time
It becomes difficult to see the bigger picture during the daily grind of 162. But when you look back at the end of the year, if the ultimate goal is achieved. These first four days of the season won’t even be remembered.