Ranking 5 injured Yankees by potential playoff impact

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Andrew Benintendi #18 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

2. Andrew Benintendi

Among the most helpful returning players, Andrew Benintendi’s comeback is also the least likely. Which is fun for this whole “speculation” thing.

Oswaldo Cabrera has earned the right to be a factor in October, but the more often he can be slotted into natural positions (shortstop, second base), the better. Right now, a kid who switched to right field midstream this season, only to be shuffled to left after he proved he could handle a bizarre challenge, is your de facto playoff starter. If Cabrera hadn’t been so brilliant in the field thus far, it would definitely be perceived as a liability.

If the Yankees were able to welcome Benintendi back from a hook fracture in his wrist, and he was swinging pain free, he’d be a Harrison Bader-level defensive addition as well as a proven playoff bat who helped carry the Yanks through some difficult times towards the end of August.

When Benny initially went down in Tampa, it felt like the beginning of the end of the end. The collapse already felt mostly sorted, but Benintendi’s exit seemed to serve as the final nail indicating the season’s bleakest moments really were upon us.

Instead, the Yankees persevered and found unique solutions without him. That doesn’t mean some assurance of his return wouldn’t be welcomed.