Yankees scratching Anthony Rizzo from lineup gives fans more unneeded anxiety

Here come more injury lies!
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

The sad, sad reality is that New York Yankees fans can never not be concerned about injuries, even heading into a brand new season when few or no worries even exist yet. It was only a matter of time before everything came crashing down.

First it was Scott Effross. Then Tommy Kahnle. Then Aaron Judge. Then Gerrit Cole. Then DJ LeMahieu. Let's now welcome Anthony Rizzo to the party.

Rizzo was a late scratch from the lineup on Friday due to a tight lat, which will surely be fine, right? Right. Isn't this how all serious Yankees injuries start? Minor concern. Out for a day. Wait for updates to arrive. Updates are exponentially worse than you could've imagined. Said player is out for 3-6 weeks.

Not that it mattered, but Rizzo's been having a very good spring training. The stats don't count for anything, but the fact the slugger's been able to see the ball clearly and produce positive results after "cognitive impairment" derailed 75% of his 2023 campaign was encouraging for fans worried about his long-term health.

But just as the Yankees approached the home stretch before Opening Day on March 28, another player is dealing with an ailment that could very well jeopardize his start of the season.

Yankees scratching Anthony Rizzo from lineup gives fans more unneeded anxiety

It could be nothing. But is it ever nothing? And even if it's relatively minor, there are only six days until the Yankees travel to Houston for the start of 2024. Lat injuries are rarely ever easy to diagnose, either. They can linger. They can go away and come back immediately. And for aging players? It's even worse.

The Yankees were already without a true backup first baseman. LeMahieu was next in line to fill in, but now that he's injured, the Yankees have holes at both corner infield spots should Rizzo's lat keep him out longer than expected.

Once upon a time it felt like the Yankees had an excessive amount of infield depth. Though Oswaldo Cabrera's resurgence is a bright spot, Oswald Peraza's extended absence, LeMahieu's questionable readiness for Opening Day, and a late injury to Rizzo have further put the roster in turmoil.

According to Aaron Boone, Anthony Rizzo has "this type of thing" throughout the season, but just wanted to be careful with it. Sure, Jan.

The best injury news the Yankees have gotten this offseason was Gerrit Cole not needing Tommy John surgery for his elbow issue. And he's still expected to miss 1-2 months.

So, yeah, we'd say "stay positive," but as the injuries start piling up, it's hard not to start preparing for the worst-case scenarios.