At this point, most New York Yankees fans have forgotten Corey Kluber and Luke Voit were even on the team. That’s sadly what happens when injuries mount.
Throw in the fact these guys have played a combined 39 games and … yeah, you get the picture. They’ve contributed for a fraction of the season.
Unfortunately, nobody didn’t see this coming, either. Kluber had injury concerns when the Yankees signed him in the offseason (he had pitched just 36.2 innings since the beginning of 2019) and Voit has been hobbled in some capacity ever since arriving in the Bronx back in 2018.
Just one start after his historic no-hitter, Kluber hit the shelf with an ominous-sounding shoulder injury in late May. It was believed he’d miss two months. Get him back after the All-Star break? Sounds good!
Eh, not really. The timetable for his return was never truly established and weeks into his rehab it was said he could return in August or (more likely) September. Nice, $11 million for, like, 14 starts.
Well, we have some good-ish news on the Kluber front that could perhaps expedite his return. Manager Aaron Boone said he “thinks” Kluber is set to throw a bullpen on Friday. He was throwing on flat ground from 120 feet on Wednesday.
Yankees provide injury updates on Corey Kluber and Luke Voit. And some fun stuff on Giancarlo Stanton!
Could a bullpen on Friday mean … progress over the next week into live hitters the week after into a rehab assignment the week after that? Regardless, this is encouraging for Kluber’s return at all, and it’s clear the Yankees want the bang for their buck down the stretch and in the postseason.
Perhaps they take their time with Kluber and acquire someone at the trade deadline to help out Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes Jr. and whoever else for the time being.
As for Voit, we were surprised yet again! Remember he went down with an oblique injury and everyone feared it would be two-plus months? Well, he returned in less than a month. Unfortunately, he suffered a bruise to his surgically-repaired knee weeks later and it was unclear when he’d be able to get back on the field.
Seems like he’s storming ahead yet again! He was doing some light work before Wednesday’s game and Boone added the slugger could be a couple days away from full baseball activities.
Uh, and we have another big one for ya from Thursday. Boone spoke to the media ahead of the series opener against the Boston Red Sox and revealed Giancarlo Stanton could play some outfield this weekend at Fenway Park! What?!
That could really help the Yankees with lineup flexibility as well as justifying jettisoning Clint Frazier and/or Miguel Andújar at the trade deadline.
We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, even though the Yankees are playing some inspiring baseball right now while missing a ton of key players, but any positive developments on the injury front concerning these guys should be something to look forward to as long as the team can stay afloat for the next month or so.
Then when the gang gets back together — well, back together with some additional trade deadline reinforcements that help balance the lineup with lefty hitters/power and speed, of course — then we’ll be talking.