The last 4 weeks of the season have been very eventful. The Yankees have been on an up and down rollercoaster with their offense, their pitching isn’t up to par and the Yankees have caught the bug that no team wants; the injury bug. Star players that make an impact in the lineup or on the bench are either shut down or put on the disabled list. It’s only the beginning of May and the Yankees have lost key players to injuries. Let’s take a look at some key players and where they are coming along on their road back to the lineup/rotation/bullpen.
Injury: Bone bruise on elbow, muscle strain
Placed on DL: April 19, 2012
Yankees OF Brett Gardner
Let’s put it this way: Brett Gardner didn’t have a good April. Oh, there was nothing wrong with his numbers–the numbers were perfect. It was just the issue of bad luck. A couple of days before Gardner was placed on the DL, he had a stomach bug that was going around the clubhouse. Gardner was able to recover from that quickly, but the Yanks would lose him once again; this time a bit longer.
After making a spectacular catch the night before, Gardner felt soreness in his elbow just 20 minutes before the game was to begin. Gardner had an MRI and it revealed that he had a bone bruise in his elbow. He also had a slight muscle strain. Gardner was placed on the 15 day DL and was eligible to come back on Thursday. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be so.
Gardner still felt a bit of pain from the bone bruise (the muscle strain has healed) and he was shut down once again by Girardi. Gardner will most likely not play through the Kansas City series but the Yankees are anticipating having him back by next week.
Injury: Low Grade A Hamstring strain
Placed on DL: N/A
Yankees OF Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher was hoping for another good start to the season. Unfortunately 3 weeks into the season, Swisher suffered a low grade A hamstring strain during a game. Swisher was given a time-able that he would return in 1 week, but Swisher was optimistic thinking that he could be back by the time the Royals series started.
Girardi put his foot down, saying that Swisher will not play until next week. Swisher hadn’t done much work since the injury occurred which would make the Royals series impossible for Swisher to return to. The good news is that this isn’t a DL situation–yet.
Just noting: It’s been May and this is Swisher’s 3rd calf/hamstring injury. 2 of them happened in Spring Training. How many calf injuries do you think Nick will go through before the season is over?
Injury: Whiplash Concussion
Placed on DL: May 3, 2012
Yankees IF Eric Chavez
Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. Eric Chavez was supposed to be one of the strong bench players that could have gave the Yankees the bat that they need. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when he went down during the series finale between the Yankees & Orioles. After trying to dive for a ball to prevent it from being a base hit, Chavez suffered a whiplash concussion and was taken out during his at-bat.
Chavez has a streak of being placed on the DL. As a matter of fact, he was on the DL last season due to a broken pinky toe–in May. ‘May’be it’s not Chavez’s month.
Injury: Shoulder Soreness
Placed on DL: March 30, 2012
Yankees SP Michael Pineda
Yankees fans will not see Michael Pineda pitch in 2012. After a somewhat puzzling 2012 Spring Training where his velocity went down, Yankees put Pineda on the DL. Only a matter of time later, Pineda was diagnosed with having an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder. Pineda had shoulder surgery and that unfortunately ended his season.
There hasn’t been a word on when Michael Pineda will start rehabilitating but Pineda is scheduled to be back on a mound by May of 2013.
I wonder what Brian Cashman is thinking of the trade right at this very moment?
Injury: Tommy John Surgery/Trampoline Accident
Placed on DL: June 8, 2011
Yankees RP Joba Chamberlain
Joba Chamberlain was supposed to be on a mound by next month. Now Yankees fans are sure that they won’t see Chamberlain in June. Chamberlain was coming back from Tommy John Surgery when he injured his foot during a freak trampoline accident during Spring Training.
Yankees are now uncertain when they are going to get Chamberlain back, but there was some enlightening news. Just yesterday, Chris Dickerson tweeted that Joba was walking around and beginning to rehab, so maybe we will see Chamberlain when the year ends after all.
Injury: ACL Tear, Meniscus Tear
Placed on DL: May 4, 2012
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera
Probably one of the most devastating injury in the history of Yankees baseball. While shagging fly balls yesterday, Rivera slipped on the warning track and fell but as soon as he fell, he gripped his right knee in pain. When the team saw Mariano go down, they knew that it was something very serious.
Mo was carted off the field and was on the way to the hospital to get an MRI. After the game, a teary eyed Mariano Rivera sat in the Yankees clubhouse explaining to reporters that it was a torn ACL and a meniscus tear, and that he was to see the New York doctors. Mariano’s teammates were shaken up, Girardi was somber and Mo was disappointed that his season had to end that way.
Mariano Rivera revealed that he will pitch in 2013 for the Yankees which was a sigh of relief for fans and for the team. For now, David Robertson seems to be the new closer but for the next 5 months, the team will not be the same without Mariano Rivera.
Being plagued with the injury bug isn’t fun, but I like to think of it this way; it’s better to be injured now than in October. Of course, the players that are healthy have to hit their way into October baseball. Yep, like I said. Injuries are not fun.