It was a bad day for the Yankees. We found out that Gary Sanchez was officially placed on the 10-day IL with a calf strain and Dellin Betances had a setback during his simulated game this week.
In a corresponding move, the Yankees have called up Kyle Higashioka to be the backup catcher as Austin Romine will be the starter.
Gary Sanchez has been on fire this season, hitting .268/.333/.732 (180 wRC+). 2016-17 El Gary has been back and it was fun to watch. He had hit six home runs in the early going thus far.
Now, he will be out for at least ten days, per the rules of the 10-day IL, and shut down completely for five of them. The Yankees and Sanchez were optimistic that he would be able to return to game action at the end of the ten days and that this is a case of them being overly-cautious. They better be right, because I cannot handle another setback for this team, especially someone who I love like Gary.
Speaking of setbacks, that was the news we got on Dellin Betances today. Boone said to all of the beat reporters that his outing did not go well and he was sent to New York for further testing.
During Friday night’s rain delay, we got word that he will receive a cortisone shot and be shut down completely for three weeks, with an MLB return timetable set at 6-7 weeks from today. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I suppose the silver lining is that we have some sort of timetable set in place, so that’s something.
With Gary on the IL, there are now twelve (12) Yankees on the injured list, which is the most in baseball. It will go back to 11 on Saturday when CC Sabathia makes his return, but it’s not like that’s much better. The list:
- Aaron Hicks
- Didi Gregorius
- Gary Sanchez
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Miguel Andujar
- Troy Tulowitzki
- Luis Severino
- Dellin Betances
- CC Sabathia
- Jacoby Ellsbury
- Ben Heller
- Jordan Montgomery
By my count, that is five guys who would have been in our top six or seven in our batting order if we could have picked at the beginning of the year, depending on where you think Gleyber Torres should hit in the order. It also includes the guy who was supposed to replace one of the other guys (Tulo for Didi).
Moreover, that is also the ace of the rotation, two arms that could really solidify the back of the rotation, and probably the best overall reliever in our bullpen.
It especially sucks because there really is no timetable for any of them to return. We know CC will be back Saturday, Gary should be back in ten days, and Giancarlo should be back by May 1. Those are who is close to a return.
We also now know that Dellin will be at least 6-7 weeks away and Severino will be back in late June at the absolute earliest. Neither of those are close.
Hicks probably won’t be seen until June, if I were to guess. He’s reportedly starting swinging the bat a little bit, but even once he feels good and is fully swinging again, he is going to need a long minor league rehab assignment to get back to game speed. He had no spring training.
Andujar could be back soon, I guess, since he has started swinging again and throwing a little bit. I don’t really buy it, though, and I don’t really want to mess around and make it worse. I expect him to, at some point, get the surgery and miss the 2019 season.
I guess Tulo will be sometime in May as well. I really don’t care, honestly, about him.
Didi and Monty will come back after the All-Star Game, by most indications we read, thought Didi I guess could be back in June. I’d bet on later rather than earlier and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
The fortunate thing is that no team in baseball is more equipped to handle an onslaught of injuries like this than the Yankees. They had an insane amount of depth. The problem is they’ve used pretty much all of it that there is to use and they can’t afford any additional injuries. If they can stay healthy until guys start coming back, they should still be able to beat up on the bad teams. It sucks that they have the injuries, but this is really an unprecedented situation.
With the Gary injury, it is now well over half of the projected production for the season on the injured list, according to projection systems like ZIPS. You can’t make this up.
Anyway, the Yankees have really made me hate being alive lately, and I hope that changes soon.