The New York Yankees were decimated by injuries in 2013, and this season is quickly becoming all too familiar with five players already out with injuries.
Mark Teixeira, David Robertson, Brendan Ryan, Brian Roberts and Francisco Cervelli are all missing time due to injuries. Yangervis Solarte came up limping after running down the first base line on Sunday night against the Boston Red Sox, but he was able to stay in the game. The Yankees came into the season as one of the oldest MLB teams with little infield depth and a barren farm system to call upon in moments of crisis. With players dropping like flies just two weeks into the season, the Yankees could be in for a long season.
Last year, the roster comprised of guys like Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner to serve as backup and utility men. This season, the front office made major adjustments, which allowed manager Joe Girardi to have better quality in depth, but it might not matter if everyone keeps going down with injury. Girardi trotted out Cervelli to man first base on Sunday night before he came up limp after hustling out a ground ball. Who took over first? Carlos Beltran.
Sure, the Yankees have some depth. If a team is able to use an eight-time All-Star with three Gold Gloves as a replacement first baseman, that is probably a good sign. But when that player is Beltran, I’m sure Girardi would have been more comfortable calling on a legitimate first baseman.
Ichiro Suzuki, 40, came off the bench to take Beltran’s spot in the outfield and Brian McCann was left without a backup. The Yankees now have to decide between J.R. Murphy and Austin Romine to back up McCann, and must also find a solution at first base.
The scarcity in the infield and bullpen is on full display, and now scrutiny about the Yankees’ minor league system will rise once again. The team will probably need to make some crucial trades sooner than they would have hoped in order to keep their momentum alive. Right now, the Yankees will need a miracle that players like Teixeira, Roberts and Robertson will come back healthy and last the entire season.