photo credit:Kim Clement USA Today Sports
We are now five games into the 2018 season, and it’s already become clear that the New York Yankees roster is very deep. There have been many surprises so far in 2018, and surely there will be many more. One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing what they can do when everyone’s healthy at the same time.
All Cylinders Not Firing Yet
Jacoby Ellsbury started the season on the disabled list, then outfielders Aaron Hicks and Billy McKinney have now joined him there as well. Greg Bird is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a foot injury. Ben Heller is also on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder injury.
In addition to the string of injuries, Gary Sanchez is batting 1 for 19, Tyler Wade is batting only 2 for 15, and after his great Opening Day, Giancarlo Stanton is 1 for his last 14 with eight strikeouts.
The Yankees bullpen has been even worse. Although many sportswriters ranked the Yankees bullpen as the best in baseball, through the first five games Yankees relievers have given up 14 of the teams 18 earned runs against.
Despite this, the Yankees have a 3-2 record, and came close to winning both of the other games. This article is not suggesting that the Yankees can go all season with this much adversity. However, without the Yankees’ depth, there’s no way they’d be able to still post a winning record.
Yankees Getting Help from the Bottom Half
The Yankees bottom 3 hitters have 10 RBIs so far in 5 games. If you take out Didi Gregorius‘ remarkable 9 RBIs, it represents more than half of the teams offense. A few years ago, if you’d told me that the Yankees have nearly a half dozen players out with injuries, and several stars struggling, I would have envisioned a pretty brutal record.
GM Knows What Hes Doing
Much of the offseason talk suggested that the Yankees needed to part ways with one of their “extra” outfielders. However, the Yankees GM Brian Cashman is looking pretty smart now. With the injuries to Hicks and Ellsbury, Cashman’s decision to keep all five outfielders is part of the reason the Yankees have a winning record right now.
Also, over the offseason, several writers questioned Cashman’s decision to sign veteran Neil Walker. Again, with the injury to Bird, Walker’s ability to play first base is helping to keep this team above .500.
Similar troubles with injuries have befallen other teams in the past. Those seasons generally end up in the 90-loss range. Right now the Yankees are 3-2, and it’s because of how deep this team is.
— Aaron Judge (@TheJudge44) April 4, 2018