The Injured List (IL) has become a running joke over the first month of the year. It sounds absurd, but it’s been that kind of season.
The Yankees have missed Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances for basically all or most of 2019.
That’s barely scratching the surface.
Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and James Paxton have made trips to the IL too.
The injuries have been such an epidemic it’s fair to question what impact it has had on the first month of the season.
Make no mistake, the Yankees haven’t resembled the team we expected to see breaking camp after spring training.
However, they’ve done a marvelous job of finding ways to win.
A little over a month into the season, the Yankees are six games over .500 and within striking distance of the first place Tampa Bay Rays.
Not too shabby for a team that has over ten players on IL. The Yankees have found unlikely heroes along the way.
Domingo German has given the rotation a major boost, contributing six wins and a sub-three ERA.
Gio Urshela, who wasn’t on one fan’s radar in spring training, has proven to be a terrific defender, solid bat and filled in brilliantly in the absence of Andujar.
German and Urshela are the unlikeliest of heroes. Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu are not.
Voit has shown that the final two months of the 2018 season was not a flash in the pan. Voit has gotten on base and hit for power at a high clip.
LeMahieu has been the spark plug and contact bat the Yankees have been lacking for some time.
Manager Aaron Boone deserves a tremendous amount of credit for keeping the ship afloat despite the ridiculous number of injuries.
Of course the Yankees are talented. Of course they were expected to do big things in 2019.
That puts the manager and team in a no-win situation in most cases. The injury epidemic put the Yankees in a state of crisis.
To their credit so far, they have answered the bell.
The Yankees have done a good enough job to hope that the return of the injured cavalry will have them right where they expected to be before the start of the season.
Injuries aside, that goal should not have changed in any way.
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