While Yankees players continue to drop like flies, the front office should feel embarrassed, not emboldened by the challenge to field a strong team.
Yankees fans have heard it many times before – injuries are part of the game. Good teams find ways to overcome them – see like we did last year, and we still won 103 games. Sorry, as I recall, the Yankees didn’t win anything last year.
How about that, Brian Cashman? Man, he’s something else. Where the hell did he find Gio Urshela to replace out for the season, Miguel Andujar? And Mike Tauchman, where did he come from, and J.A. Happ to fortify that beat up rotation?
Que Sera Sera Yankees
Not to worry Yankees fans, Cashman has this thing today under control. There’s no need to panic. Luis Severino – tough break, what are you gonna do? Giancarlo Stanton – hey, he’s working the kinks out. James Paxton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks – I (Cashman) got this.
No, you don’t Brian, and neither do the Yankees despite the changes and new faces in their newly formed in their Player Health And Performance Department.
Consider This Scenario
Think we might be a bit angry as we scurry around calling temp agencies to find replacements who may or may not be fit for the job – at an extra cost?
And those medical bills due to come rolling into our insurance provider – and the ensuing increase in premiums?
Well, that’s what the Yankees faced on Opening Day last year, and though the tally isn’t nearly complete for 2020, it’s beginning to look like a repeat. Or worse.
Yankees Good Cop Bad Cop
We understand Aaron Boone has to play nice with his players. Part of his job is to reinforce them when they’re down and encourage them when they’re up. Even though he may be thinking to himself as he looks at Stanton to say:
“You did what to your freakin’ calf a week into Spring Training? What the hell have you been doing all winter with yourself, Giancarlo”?
Then, we have these stupid daily reports informing us that Aaron Judge increased his throwing distance (ailing shoulder – again!) from 60 feet to 120 feet the other day.
Which is the same as reading a report that Elizabeth Warren has upped her support in the Democratic Primary polling from six to eight percent? Whoop-de-doo.
Yesterday’s column on the Yankees featured three ways that Brian Cashman can alleviate the team’s current predicament. And no doubt, he will employ a combination to ensure that the Yankees will once again walk away with the American League East.
The Problems Run Deep
But that has little to do with the underlying problem(s) associated with the propensity of Yankees players to be injured, causing substantial loss of playing time.
What, for instance, is the definition of a player who is “prone to injury”? Is there even such a thing in science? On the surface and as a layman, I would say, Stanton, Judge, Hicks, and Gary Sanchez are all injury-prone players. But what do I know?
The point is the Yankees need to know, and they need to know it soon before they dump record contract extensions on Judge and Sanchez.
Another question. To what extent do the Yankees and that costly medical staff they hired to follow their player’s workout routines during the offseason?
Are we to assume Luis Severino felt no discomfort over the winter as he revved up his throwing program? And who established that program – the player or the team?
The same question is relevant to James Paxton. What did he know, and when did he know it?
We are told Paxton’s back surgery became necessary when he was no longer responding to treatment for back pain. Who made that determination, and could it have been made sooner?
A Direct Order From Hal Steinbrenner
We needn’t expect the Yankees to grapple with these things publicly. But the ho-hum looks like last year again approach is embarrassing for a franchise as storied and well-run as the Yankees are.
And so if nothing less, Hal Steinbrenner, if he hasn’t done so already, must tell his general manager in very short words, “Brian, this is unacceptable. Fix it!”