New York Yankees: Latest Rash of Injuries Could Be the Knockout Punch

By Nik Swartz
Derek Jeter New York Yankees
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 MLB season is about to start and fans in the Bronx are more negative than they have been in decades, so looking forward to Opening Day is not the easiest thing to do. With players dropping like flies, it makes predicting what to expect from the 2013 New York Yankees nearly impossible.

It is no secret this season was going to be more difficult than any in recent memory, but no one could have expected it would get this bad, this early, for the Yankees. As each day passes, the clouds above the Bronx get a little darker, and even the most optimistic fan gets a little more depressed about the season.

To say the Yankees have not had a good start to the season would be like saying the Titanic kind of sank. With Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes being the newest members of the Yankees to go on the DL, it is as if the writing is already on the wall. Many fans have tried to grab on to a positive, and just as they find one — another player goes down.

To look down the left-side of the infield and not see Jeter or Alex Rodriguez will be something that has been in the nightmares of Yankee fans since October.

Jeter has the heart of a lion, but there is a time in everyone’s life when they get old and their mind does not realize that their body just can’t heal as fast as it once could — this is what Jeter is facing right now.

The Yankees did everything right bringing Jeter along slowly. Jeter did everything right when it came to his rehab, but he isn’t 25-years old anymore, and he isn’t going to heal as fast as his brain may tell him he can. This is sad for such a warrior; a man that would probably do anything to be out there with his team when they face Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox on April 1.

Unfortunately, Jeter’s injury is looking a lot worse than anyone expected. As much as it may hurt him mentally, Jeter may not be back until May. Jeter has always led by example and put his body on the line for his team, but this time he needs to take it easy and come back when he is 100 percent. If he doesn’t wait, this will be a situation he and the Yankees will have to deal with all season.

With Jeter joining Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Rodriguez and Hughes on the DL, the team that takes the field will not only look different — they simply won’t be as good. There is no other way to say it, no other way to view it, no positive spin to put on the start of the season.

The Yankees need the players that are healthy to battle through this adversity and try to hold the team together until May. To keep the ship afloat, the Yankees will need players like Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner and newly-acquired Vernon Wells, to step-up and be leaders.

With the way things were going, the old Yankees way came back. The team’s management got scared and took a chance in trading for Wells. The Wells’ trade has been in the news a lot recently and it is hard to say for sure what he will bring to the team, but he has to be more than just a warm body in left field.

The Yankees need the young, the new and the healthy superstars to come out and play like it’s October, because no matter how many stars the Yankees have coming back, if the hole is too deep when they return, this will be the end of the Yankees’ domination.

Nik Swartz is the Featured Columnist for the New York Yankees.  Follow him on Twitter @Sweetnesz13.

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