Sometimes, it's pleasant when personnel decisions play themselves out. Sometimes, it's sad. Sometimes, it's both, which seems to be the case with the New York Yankees and Willie Calhoun, who once upon a time, for a short while, was this team's most important hitter.
On Wednesday night after the Yankees' victory over the Mariners, it was announced Calhoun would be hitting the IL with a quad injury that he suffered running to first base in the eighth inning.
Calhoun spoke candidly to the media about the situation, revealing that he "won't be able to run at all on my left leg" and that it "doesn't feel too great right now." He also told reporters he suffered a similar injury a couple years back and it required a PRP injection, which kept him out of action for 3-4 weeks.
If his absence is anywhere close to that timeline, might he be finished in the Bronx, especially with the way he's been hitting as of late? After an impressive May, Calhoun hasn't been quite as bad as he was in April over the last three weeks, but he's certainly been outperformed by guys like Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney, both of whom simply cannot be shucked off the roster at this point because of how good they've been.
Does that mean this is the last Yankees fans will see of Calhoun as guys like Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes, Ian Hamilton, and (hopefully) Aaron Judge could be back before he is?
Does Willie Calhoun's injury spell the end of his time with the Yankees?
In 11 games this month, Calhoun is hitting .207 with a .730 OPS. His two home runs and four RBI in 32 plate appearances have surely been solid for a player of his caliber, but with Bauers and McKinney leading the way as the Yankees' best hitters right now (and Giancarlo Stanton back entrenched in the DH spot), what's the use for Calhoun a month from now when the team is expected to be healthier?
He's played just 12 of his 44 games on defense, which is of little help when you realize this team is clogged with DHs such as Stanton, Josh Donaldson and DJ LeMahieu getting regular reps, in addition to the likelihood Judge will have plenty of days off his feet upon his return (whenever that may be).
The Yankees would (probably) much rather have versatile defensive options like Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza on the roster when the rest of their top players return to full strength rather than a redundant DH option in Calhoun, who was only here in the first place because of how injuries put the team in a tough position right out of the gate in spring training.
So, if this is the beginning of the end of Calhoun's time in New York, we'll forever remember manager Aaron Boone saying "there's no doubt in my mind Willie Calhoun can bang," and the short king quickly delivering after that statement nobody initially believed. Salute.