Seriously, this can’t be happening to the Yankees again, can it?
Unfortunately for New York, the injury bug has again made the rounds to the clubhouse. This time, it was outfielder Brett Gardner who went down, straining his oblique in a game Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi said on Friday that he was ‘going to be out for a while‘ and it sounds as if he is probably done for the season.
The loss is a big one for the Yanks. Gardner, the team’s starting center fielder, is a significant contributor. He’s not a big power hitter, but with 52 runs batted in, a league-leading ten triples, and 24 stolen bases, he does a little of everything on offense.
For the Yankees, the feeling has to be one of numbness to a degree. Looking back on the course of the season, it’s difficult to find another team that has suffered so many injuries. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Jeter, and Kevin Youkilis have been out most of the season with injuries. Travis Hafner played in only 81 games before going down for the year and Curtis Granderson has played in only 47 games. Pitchers Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova have all spent time on the disabled list.
Forget this year – this may be one of the most injury-ridden clubs in recent memory.
Through it all, the Yankees have found a way to contend for the playoffs. New York is only one game out of the second Wild Card spot and making the postseason would be a remarkable achievement – huge payroll or not. If they’re going to do it, though, it will likely be without Gardner.