Yankees’ terrible OF depth tested by Stanton and Hicks injuries


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the New York Yankees lost a large swath of players to injury in one fell swoop on Friday.

New York was already planning to use Friday’s series opener in Baltimore as a potential rest day for Gio Urshela, who is still nursing a knee issue despite playing several consecutive games (a few on the turf in Tampa) since suffering the injury.

Joining him on the shelf was Aaron Hicks, whose troublesome MRI was being scrutinized by the Yankees’ crack team of doctors overnight.

When they awoke and rubbed their sleepy eyes, they discovered he had a torn tendon sheath. It could keep him out for a few days after being treated with a cortisone injection. It could knock him out for the remainder of the season following a surgical procedure.

And, just as fans everywhere were processing what the loss of Hicks really meant to the team as a whole, Giancarlo Stanton was scratched from his DH role with left quad tightness.

Lovely. Does this…team…have any outfielders? Short answer: No. Long answer: Noooooo.

They don’t even have a bench.

The Yankees might lose Aaron Hicks for the season, and Giancarlo Stanton for a little while.

The Bombers’ bench on Friday night now consists of Hicks, who can’t swing and might need surgery, Stanton, who just asked out, Urshela, who’s supposed to be too injured to play, and Mike Freaking Ford.

What happens if a Yankee outfielder gets hurt in this game? Injured Urshela comes in and plays third, pushing Andújar to the outfield? Injured Hicks comes in and fields, then bunts when his spot in the order arrives?

Can…can we at least get an IL stint for Hicks tomorrow, possibly? The Triple-A ranks are slim pickings, but a healthy body is better than nobody.

More than anything, this shines a light on the Yankees’ horrible offseason roster construction. Sure, they entered 2021 assuming Clint Frazier would perform and Brett Gardner would be an able-bodied fill-in. Neither has provided any value, and beyond the Gardner line of defense, there’s no one available. Mike Tauchman is in San Francisco, and has been largely ineffective in both leagues this year. Jay Bruce has retired. The only other outfielder on the 40-man roster is Estevan Florial, who coincidentally was promoted to Triple-A on Friday, too.

Things are so dire that Boone claimed he was considering using Stanton in the outfield, just about a half hour prior to him taking the game off instead.

Rarely has a trade for outfield depth been this essential. Without Hicks, there’s only one Triple-A option to promote. Without Stanton, there’s almost nothing that can be done outside of using Mike Ford at first and DH’ing Luke Voit.

Add Trey Amburgey or another outfielder to the 40-man and lose Brooks Kriske? Or another piece of pitching depth?

Laughably, this injury sequence has laid bare that the Yankees entered 2021 with a legendary trio of injury-prone outfielders, chose not to carry any outfielders at any level, and are now being burned by that lack of outfielders.

It’s May.