Despite recent good news, health remains a concern

aaron hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Big Baby David, Brett Gardner, David Mendelsohn, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Injury, Playoffs, talkin yanks, Yankees -

Despite recent good news, health remains a concern

The Yanks have gotten several guys back from DL stints and have gotten good news on some other injury concerns recently. They’re about as healthy as they’ve been all year! Despite the good news they’ve gotten, I just can’t help but feel very concerned about a few of the injuries they’re dealing with. Specifically, I’m worried about four guys as we’re approaching the postseason.

Aaron Hicks

Hicks is dealing with hamstring tightness. He also had the foul ball off his ankle that I’m sure doesn't feel stellar at the moment. He had the good news that the MRI was clean and he should be back for the Boston series this weekend. Hicks has a history of these soft-tissue injuries lasting for a while, though, so I’m obviously concerned. Hicks is a big part of this team!

I’m less concerned about Hicks than anyone else on this list, though. Maybe this injury and missing several days is going to throw him off his rhythm, but Hicks doesn’t really rely on his physical tools or timing to actually play, though. His favorite thing is to walk and he only swings before two strikes if he thinks that he can get extra bases out of it. Otherwise, he’s going to take that walk and then play a nice center field for us. If he’s good to go, then he should be close to what he is.

Didi Gregorius

I’m very worried about Didi. He got the great news Wednesday that he may resume baseball activities and he may be able to play in Boston this weekend and, therefore, the Wild Card Game. That’s awesome, because Didi Gregorius, even if hurt, is our best option out there and is a pivotal part of the team, both on and off the field. CC admitted on R2C2 that having him hit the DL with the heel thing hurt the team chemistry quite a bit, as well as the on-field play, of course.

Didi came back from that heel injury and basically picked up where he left off, which is great. I can’t be certain that happens again, particularly with an injury that sounds like it’s worse than the heel, and is to a more important area: his right wrist. It’s his throwing wrist and his lead wrist while hitting. I’m very concerned that that wrist being weakened at all can greatly impact on-field performance. Even if that’s the case, he obviously should still be starting if he feels good to go, but I want the best Didi possible, not a mediocre Didi who is risking further injury.

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge recently came back from missing nearly two months with the broken wrist. That’s awesome. What’s not awesome is that he has looked like a guy who hasn’t played in nearly two full months. 

Judge is not playing badly, but he is slashing a meager .219/.359/.281 (83 OPS+) in ten games (8 starts) since returning. His timing just isn't there yet. He’s earning his walks because other teams aren’t going to mess around and throw stuff over the plate to that beautiful behemoth of a man, even if he can’t catch fastballs yet. That’s still incredibly valuable, and he’s still playing very good defense. It looks like his arm is back to normal. 

 

 When you account for other guys’ health situations being up in the air, along with struggles of some other guys (Gary Sanchez, Brett Gardner), and the potential for some guys to stop playing above their heads (Voit), I want Judge to be healthy and at apex performance, because that is one of the best players in baseball.

I also am not at all convinced that that wrist is healed all the way. They probably needed to take the chance on it but it would really suck if this became a persisting issue because he had to be rushed back.

Aroldis Chapman

Chapman is back from the knee injury. This has been a long-standing issue for him, so I’m sure it still barks a bit, but it’s probably as healthy as it’s been at any point this year. We haven’t seen the Chapman we saw in the first half but after that first appearance, his control seems mostly back. It looks like they’ve planned out his appearances to be every other day the rest of the way, and so far that hasn’t occurred in his typical closer role. He’s pitched mostly seventh innings and stuff since his return, which I’m completely fine with, but admit it looks weird.

His slider looks pretty sharp and normal, actually, but his fastball velocity, his signature, is not there yet. It seems to be steadily climbing, though, as he started getting into the very high 90s last night if I am recalling the game correctly.

The Yankees have an elite bullpen, even without Chapman, but I think we can all agree that getting Chapman back to his best capabilities is decidedly important for getting as far as the Yanks want to go. He seems to be on the right track, but that knee could come back barking at any time.

 

Of course, everyone is banged up in September. That’s just the nature of a 162-game season. Giancarlo Stanton has been nursing a hamstring injury, Gardy has a knee thing going on all year, Gleyber’s hip has been kind of weird for a while and he’s had a couple days off recently to deal with it. Any freak injury can happen at any time, and everyone’s got something going on, so I want everyone staying healthy. I have a particularly higher level of concern with these four, though.

 

Follow @BigBabyDavid_ on Twitter!


Tags