Last week, Baseball Prospectus came out with their injury projections so I’ll offer some brief commentary on what they could mean for each player and the team. When I have some more free time, I’ll go more deeply into this issue, using WAR projections and all, but for now, with my mind still at least partially on those lesson plans for A Tale of Two Cities, here’s what I think.
Just about everyone is projected to miss one day so that’s not worth going into too much. There are a few guys who are red-flagged for 15-day DL trips: Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, and Andruw Jones. This makes sense for Rodriguez, Posada, and Jones given their respective ages and injury histories. Call me optimistic, but I think the chance of injury is less significant for each guy. Rodriguez’s hip is apparently finally healed, Posada will be DHing full time rather than catching, and Jones will be a back up. Granted, Jones will get a good deal of playing time so perhaps his risk is a bit higher than the other two, but as a part time player, I don’t see the risk as all too high. It’s worth noting that Posada is the only hitter on the list with red flags for day-to-day injuries, a 15-day DL stint, and a 60-day DL stint. Jorge is the only hitter with a 60-day DL red flag.
Brett Gardner‘s an interesting DL red flag because he’s relatively young but he has had wrist trouble. Someone also asked me earlier what I thought the first big injury would be for the Yankees and I said something along the line of “Brett meets wall.” I hope I’m not right, but it could happen.
Russell Martin, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson all have red flags for the day-to-day type, and I’m sure that will happen. They play the three most demanding non-pitcher positions in the game and will no doubt be banged up at some point from April through October.
Obviously, injuries can and will derail any team. The Yankees are no exception to this. Luckily, though, their injury risks seem pretty low. Another thing to note is that the Yankees are a team that is better equipped than most to deal with injuries because they can take on salaries more easily than other teams can. Finally, we should know that the injury bug WILL bite the Yankees at some point. We can’t predict it and we probably can’t see it coming. Death, taxes, and baseball injuries. Those are the guarantees we have.
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