The Yankees have slowed down a bit in the last 10 games. A variety of factors have contributed to this 4-6 record over the last 10, the main reason being injuries. The Yankees were 8-2 in the 10 games before these 10 games. Several key players became injured, and were reluctantly sidelined. It seems that with each passing day, another Yankee catches the injury bug. I wonder if they have the depth to combat this series of unfortunate events.
The most irritating part of the injury frenzy is that some players are hurt, but not hurt enough to go on the disabled list. Nick Swisher, with his sore left bicep, is a prime example - I would almost rather have him on the DL. Because Swisher is not on the disabled list, he is still considered active on the roster, even though he is too hurt to play. The negative aspect of this is that the Yankees cannot bring up anyone to replace him. If he was on the DL, they could do so, but he would most likely be out for a longer time. I want Swish to return as soon as possible, but I disagree with clogging up a roster spot - especially when the team is in the shape it's in.
One player who was hogging a roster spot was recently put on the DL is Jorge Posada. Posada, who was struck in the foot by a Michael Cuddyer foul ball on Sunday, has a hairline fracture that will sideline him for 3-4 weeks. The only remotely positive thing about this, is that Francisco Cervelli will get more playing time and the opportunity to continue his hot-hitting. Chad Moeller will probably be brought up in Jorge's place.
Marcus Thames is now day-to-day after last night's oddity of an injury. After ripping a single through the shift, Thames had some bad luck running to first base. I've never seen anything like it before - he threw his bat, and tripped over it while running! It would have been funny, but it was painful. Marcus had to leave the game, and is now day-to-day with an ankle sprain. Now the Yankee backup guys need backup? This isn't good...
Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson are going to miss a lot of action. I'd be surprised if I saw Nick Johnson play another game with the Yankees. He recently had wrist surgery, and will most likely be out for all or most of the season. Curtis Granderson is making progress healing his groin, but it will still be a few weeks until we see him again.
This injury epidemic has no-doubt hurt the Yankees. Their lineup is far from as intimidating and circular as it was earlier in the season. The only optimism I have is the fact that it is still early in the season. Everything will balance out - all teams get their injuries. And although it seems like the Rays are unstoppable now, I have the utmost confidence that the Yankees beat them.
Hopefully, the injury epidemic is contagious between teams. The Yankees are currently 4 games behind the Rays. There is still so much baseball left to be played - who knows what can happen?
by Virginia Califano
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