All teams are not blessed with the luck to have players avoid the injury list and the Yankees will not be the first to tell you baseball is a long season. Injuries are contagious, like pitching and hitting, going hot and cold. Now, though, injuries have become contagious for this Yankees team.
For the most part, the Yankees have been fortunate, but in the last week some key components of the Yankees lineup and bullpen could not avoid that injured list. Take into account losing closer Aroldis Chapman (Achilles Tendinitis), Chad Green (Tommy John surgery) and a complexion of the bullpen changed.
Here is a look at the Wednesday transaction sheet and significant with Jonathan Loaisiga, another bullpen loss. Add the controversial Josh Donaldson on the 10-day injured list (COVID) and a one-game MLB suspension that does not have to be reviewed here, we heard enough of the verbal exchanges with Tim Anderson. Also, D.J. LeMahieu is day-to-day with an ailment to the left wrist.
Late Wednesday night, the Stanton injury was revised to right ankle inflammation so different from a calf strain and that is better news.
Recalled LHP JP Sears (#92) and RHP David McKay (#71) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Reinstated OF Joey Gallo (#13) from the COVID-19 injured list.
Placed RHP Jonathan Loáisiga on the 15-day injured list (retroactive to 5/23) with right shoulder inflammation.
Placed DH/OF Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain.
Designated C Rob Brantly for assignment.
“You’ve got to be able to weather the storm,” manager Aaron Boone said.
The Yankees have the ability to weather this storm, perhaps better than others with the resources to do so by reaching down to reinforcements at Triple-A Scranton, while GM Brian Cashman is always working the phones.
Regardless, the Yankees concluded an eventful and otherwise successful homestand Wednesday night in the Bronx splitting six games with the White Sox and Orioles. And 31-13 continues to look good, holding the best record in baseball.
“Good to get another series win and now it’s on to Tampa,” Boone said after the Yankees 2-0 win Wednesday night.
He talked about the depth and guys now stepping up during the adversity. J.P. Sears pitched five shutout innings and the bullpen did the rest, including Clay Holmes with a save and now with 23 scoreless innings.
Sears was needed and came up big. Holmes, during this adversity, stepped up again and is it a question what his role will be when Chapman returns from the IL?
Questions about Chapman and these role players remain for another day, because the Yankees next four are at Tampa Bay with a first place lead of 4.5 games in the division over the Rays.
It is difficult to understand how the schedule works because after 44 games this is the first meeting with the Yankees and Rays. The Yankees improved to 9-4 against the Orioles with six more remaining. Three at Baltimore in July and three more at Yankee Stadium in late September.
Adversity aside, the Yankees have found a way to win without their starting core.
Sears, a lefthander, was the 20th pitcher in Yankees history to toss at least 5.0 scoreless innings in his first Major League start. Yankees’ starters have allowed three walks in their last eight starts and this latest shutout was the Yankees fifth of the season.
Miguel Andujar, called up with the absence of Donaldson, could again be finding a role in the outfield and now is his opportunity after hitting a go ahead RBI single in the fourth inning. He finished 2-for-3, and with limited time, has hit safely in 22 of his last 27 games.
Going to be decision time when the adversity calms down because of the limited production from Aaron HIcks, who can’t seem to live up to his lucrative and long term contract.
Boone does not have to make these decisions now. What matters is putting the best lineup on the field, who matches up best out of the bullpen, even if it means using a struggling Michael King with hopes he gets back in his early season form.
Yes, Aaron Judge is always a threat with the home run swing. Stanton was not in the lineup, but Judge doubled in the fourth inning and scored on a single by Andujar accounting for a run to help a depleted bullpen.
Flash back to Jose Trevino. Tuesday night, a solo home run in the second inning, a game tying single in the seventh, and an emotional Trevino raising his hands to the sky rounding first base after hitting his game winning walk-off single in the 11th
The Yankees have found a way to deal with adversity whether it be Sears, Holmes, Andujar, or that game winning hit from Trevino.
“It’s also a great opportunity for people we’re really excited about to step up and step into roles,” Boone said.
No different from other teams. But the Yankees have depth that makes adversity much easier to handle.
Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso