The Dog Days of September?

Typically, it happens to be the Dog Days of August, but the Yankees are really experiencing that now in September. Let’s take a look at the current injury status of the Yankees:

Nick Swisher has been suffering from some pain in his left elbow (tendinitis). An MRI was taken, luckily revealing no structural damage. Swisher said he left a sharp pain when throwing. He did play first base in last night’s game, but throwing is still painful for him. Tendinitis in the elbow is no fun injury by any means and the last thing anyone wants to happen is for him to start throwing through the pain, and it gets worse. Temporary replacement: Andruw Jones. With Jones taking over for Swisher in right field for several games, they luckily have some right-handed bat named Montero who can DH in Jones’ place.

Alex Rodriguez’ left thumb has been so sore that he doesn’t feel he can be as productive as possible. Like Swisher, he should be sidelined for several more days. Temporary replacement: Eric Chavez / Eduardo Nunez.

Russell Martin has a right thumb contusion after a foul tip Saturday night. Girardi hopes to have Martin back by tonight’s game versus Seattle, but that is not close to a sure thing. Temporary replacement: Jesus Montero / Austin Romine / Jorge Posada. Big time minor leaguer fans can’t have a much better situation now. The Yankees catchers right now consist of Montero and Romine? Nice. It’ll be good to have Martin back, though. His influence on the pitching staff is dramatic as Jamie wrote about here.

Francisco Cervelli, who would presumably be the replacement of Martin except that he has been having concussion symptoms of late. Truth is, no one really knows when he’ll be back. He is important, as C.C. Sabathia has developed quite the pitcher-catcher relationship with Cerv.

Effect on the Bench

You look at the lineup that results from these injuries, and it’s not overly bad. However the real effect is in the bench. Instead of having Chavez, Nunez, and Jones off the bench, you now have a combination of Ramiro Pena, Chris Dickerson, and Greg Golson. Although Dickerson was quite productive for the Yanks last night, you can’t expect the same level of production from him as Jones or Swisher. That’s quite a difference of bench “quality”.

The Reality

All these injuries may look horrendous, but all things are not that bad. The 1-5 is still solid with Gardner, Jeter, Grandy, Teixeira, and Cano. Then, Jones, Montero, Posada, and Chavez/Nunez fill in the final 4 spots. They have won games with a lot lesser a lineup. In addition, these injuries are all day-to-day’s, meaning we’re not going to go a long time without A-Rod or Swisher or Martin in the lineup. They’ll be back soon enough. It helps that the Yanks have taken a pretty good lead over the Red Sox in the AL East.

Overall, you can look at the injuries above and get very apprehensive about the rest of the Yankees’ season…but not to worry. The Yanks have a reasonable lead atop the AL East, and the starting lineup isn’t too much worse than before. The team just has to work through the injuries and win as many games as they possibly can while Martin, Swisher, and A-Rod are out. Once those three come back, the great depth they have had will return.

About Mike D.

Mike D. is one of 2 co-founders of the Yankees Fans Unite Blog. He has been a Yankees fan for as long as he can remember, growing up in a family of huge NYY fans. His knowledge of the game comes from watching baseball his whole life, and playing third base in high school and college.

Posted on September 13, 2011, in Injuries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Mike, very accurate with your critique of the team as it now sets.
    I think some fans may start with the; “We have to have so and so back but, we can get along without so and so”! I hope they take a look at your Post and think about it first.
    I admit, I am a nut on the subject of “Team” over me, me. me! As with a fine running watch, one has small and large gears…Large wheels (A-Rod/Cano/Martin) and the small Wheels (Grandy, Jeter, Swisher, Tex)…if one takes out the least of these gears/wheels, what happens. Yes, it stops, one adds a spare part to the watch right? But, then you have a new part with some older parts, and things just don’t work the same, and you have less parts to use later.
    As a group, these guys get the job done more then not but, try and name one we can or can’t do without.
    Take-out Jeter…then we have to use Brett/Nunez as the lead-off hitters.
    A-Rod down…Chavez to 3rd, everyone moves up, now the batting order has a hole in it.
    A team that is well put together runs well and is very productive. A-Rod hits monster HR’s, Brett steals bases, Cano is great as always, Jeter is doing his thing, Martin handles the pitchers, Granderson, Swisher and Tex are (mostly, all or nothing)…jury is still out on Monty.
    If one looks, they see nine players, all with a little different talent, take one out and it disrupts the Team as a whole.
    Damn, hope I didn’t mess this up, you’all understand all this rambling?

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