Yankees predictably lose their best strikeout reliever to injury

You knew he was here for a good time, not a long time.
New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians
New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The New York Yankees have sprinted out to a 13-6 record, leading the rough-and-tumble AL East for at least another few hours. Not all is well, though. Offensive stalwarts like Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres have been unable to find their momentum through the season's first few weeks. The team's rotation has performed nicely, but without Gerrit Cole, they don't currently have a captain, someone who can reliably eat seven or eight innings without a second ask.

And the bullpen? Sure, they've been good. But lock these Yankees relievers in a tight game, and the defense is going to have to step up behind them; they're one of the worst swing-and-miss units in baseball.

On Friday, they just got worse. Nick Burdi, one of the team's lone flamethrowers, was placed on the IL with hip inflammation, retroactive to Wednesday. Thus far, the extent of the damage is not known, though Yankees fans should be thankful the injury hasn't touched his twice-repaired elbow or shoulder.

Burdi, typically, has been called upon to dot 99 MPH on the corner to escape sixth- or seventh-inning jams. He's struck out eight men in 6 1/3 scoreless innings so far this season. Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes remain active, but both fall below the league-average threshold in missing bats.

Yankees lose reliever Nick Burdi to Injured List, promote Cody Morris

Now, it'll be up to Cody Morris, acquired from the Guardians in the offseason Estevan Florial deal, to live up to his Cody namesake -- Mr. Poteet, who dominated a spot start last weekend. Morris holds a 3.41 career ERA, but was routinely lit up this spring, surrendering 10 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings, making him an easy demotion.

Burdi's injury history is so extensive it's a wonder he remains in the league, and keen Yankee fans knew that always meant he could drop from the roster at any second. Now, they must hold their breath and hope for a minor impingement rather than a major issue, because a bullpen that already cannot get whiffs on a wider scale can't afford to lose one of their key firemen.

The trade deadline can't come soon enough.