It is never easy to predict the future in the game of baseball; in fact, it’s nearly impossible. There are so many intangibles within the game that can affect a team in either a good or a bad way. However the one thing that can almost certainly destroy a team’s season is an injury.
Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, they have many injuries that they must deal with.
It all started when it was announced that Alex Rodriguez would be undergoing surgery in order to repair a lingering issue with his left hip. He would be sidelined until at least July, and there is the distinct possibility that he could miss more time than that – maybe even the whole season. The Yankees though, did not panic. They replaced Rodriguez with Kevin Youkilis, who is capable of partially replacing A-Rod on both offense and defense.
Things got worse from there.
Curtis Granderson, who has hit a total of 108 home runs as a Yankee in just three seasons with the team, fractured his forearm after being hit by a pitch in his first Spring Training at-bat. This will keep Granderson out until the beginning of May. At first, the injury didn’t look to be all too bad, and was initially reported as a bone bruise on his forearm. That diagnosis changed for the worse when the X-Rays came back. Yet still, the Yankees did not panic too much because they still had Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, who could provide power to the Yankees’ lineup.
But the hits just kept on coming.
Teixeira strained his wrist while preparing for the World Baseball Classic, and is now out for about the same amount of time that Granderson is.
It is time for the Yankees to start panicking.
With the loss of those three players, the Yankees take a significant hit on their ability to generate runs. While they were originally going to attempt to play small ball when these guys were healthy, it makes things so much harder now that they’re injured. The reason for this is that if the small-ball approach didn’t work out as the Yankees anticipated it to, they would be able to count on players like Teixeira and Granderson to create some quick runs.
The “power-outage” that the Yankees are going to suffer is going to troublesome, but not as troublesome as the fact that the team does not have anybody who can really replace their injured stars.
There is simply nobody on the Yankees’ roster who can play with the ability that Teixeira did both offensively and defensively. Wrist injuries can be very tricky, and you really never know what you’re going to get with them. So while it’s reported that Tex will return sometime in May, he could be out longer if the wrist refuses to cooperate. This creates a huge hole for the Yankees, and there is really only one thing that they can do if they want to fix this situation.
Explore a trade.
As WFAN-Radio host Mike Francesa said on his program, there are bound to be teams focused on rebuilding that would be willing to part with a first baseman – a la the Minnesota Twins and Justin Morneau or the Colorado Rockies and Michael Cuddyer. It would be a little on the extreme side for the Yankees to trade for a player who would only be filling in for a month, but as Francesa also said, the Yankees should worry about what to do with said player when Teixeira returns when that happens.
This is a scary time for the Yankees and fans alike. There is no doubt that the team will be a lot different this year, and the lack of power will surely show that the Yankees have some serious problems. However, like I alluded to before, the game of baseball is filled with intangibles. While it may look grim right now, there is always the chance that the Yankees surprise as all.