New York Yankees designated hitter Travis Hafner is headed to the DL with a shoulder injury. You might think that this is a bad thing, especially considering that Hafner was the Yankees’ go-to guy against right-handed starters; however, I think that this turn of events will end well for both Hafner and the Yankees.
The DH started the season looking great. He ended April with six home runs, 17 RBIs, 13 runs scored, 21 hits and a .318 batting average. Since then, however, he’s been in a steady decline, culminating in a brutal July of no home runs, two RBIs and a .143 batting average.
Obviously, something’s up with Hafner, and it was likely an injury. I think that he’s been playing hurt for a long time — probably since around the end of April when his numbers began to nosedive. His sudden decline is a dead giveaway. If Hafner simply didn’t have it anymore, I doubt he would’ve started the season on such a tear.
His decline was so sudden that something had to have changed. A shoulder injury would go a long way to explaining it all.
Now Hafner will have the chance to rest his ailing shoulder, and perhaps he’ll come back with the kind of swing he had at the beginning of the season. The Yankees need any help they can get at the plate, and Hafner would undoubtedly provide it.