Injuries, Surgeries, and COVID, Oh My: Yankees I.L. Updates

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Starting with dropping an entire double-header to the White Sox, it hasn't been a good week for the Yankees -- they have now lost their second series all season and have also lost three out of four games, heading into Tuesday against Baltimore.

Technically, the bad news started before dropping the double-header; a barrage of injuries and COVID cases have plagued them in a very short amount of time. 

Joey Gallo
Gallo was placed on the COVID I.L. on May 22nd.  While we haven’t seen Joey Jack One in quite some time, and his automatic K is frustrating at best, he’s a necessary part of the defense and is currently a better at-bat than one Aaron Hicks.  As usual with COVID, a timeline for return is undetermined at this time.  To fill the roster spot, RHP David McKay was called up from Scranton on Sunday -- and the Yankees, unfortunately, will need another bullpen arm.

Kyle Higashioka
Higgy’s absence due to COVID, also since May 22nd, is concerning.  Jose Trevino will get a lot more playing time than he did previously, and Ben Rortvedt is still on the I.L. and not due to return anytime soon as the Yankees transferred him to the 60-Day I.L. on Sunday.  The Yankees signed Rob Brantly to a Major League contract and he played in Game 2 of Sunday’s double-header, recording the first hit of the game for the Yanks.  Higgy’s return is also undetermined for the time being. In the meantime, Trevino contributed three hits, including a walk off single on Tuesday night against Baltimore.

Josh Donaldson

Prior to serving his one-game suspension announced by MLB on Monday (which he is appealing), Donaldson will also sit out due to yet another Yankees COVID situation.  The Yankees announced moving Donaldson to the COVID I.L. after his suspension was announced on Monday.  Donaldson’s return, especially with his impending suspension, is also undetermined. 

Luis Gil 

Gil was called up from Scranton and made one MLB appearance so far this season, but was pulled from his most recent Scranton appearance, clutching his elbow and calling for the trainer.  Aaron Boone announced Sunday that Gil will need Tommy John surgery, a gut punch so early in his career.  As far as 2022 is concerned, the Yankees need to place a lot of faith in Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery and Nestor Cortes to stay healthy.  Additionally, to provide “starting pitcher insurance,” the Yankees called up JP Sears from Scranton on Monday, and he will “likely start” on Wednesday. 

Aroldis Chapman

After a series of appearances that have echoed 2021 Chappy, 2022 Chappy is dealing with left achilles tendinitis.  He gave up earned runs in each of his last five appearances before the Yankees revealed that he has been dealing with the achilles issue for a “couple of weeks.”  Chappy’s MRI didn’t reveal any damage, but prior to Tuesday's game, he was placed on the 15 day IL with achilles tendonitis.

Chad Green

Perhaps the most devastating news of all over the past week, the Yankees announced on Sunday that Green will also need Tommy John surgery after leaving last Thursday night’s game with right arm discomfort.  On the season, Green’s ERA is 3.00, with 16 strikeouts and one save over 15.0 IP.  But the absence of Green coupled with the possibility of a Chapman absence leaves the once storied Yankees bullpen in a more than difficult position (and even without a Chapman absence, the Yankees have a Chapman problem of late).  Clay Holmes has pitched “lights out” and Michael King keeps impressing, but Jonathan Loaisiaga isn’t the pitcher he was last year with a 7.02 ERA.  Lucas Luetge gave up the walk-off run to the Orioles last Thursday.  The Yankees also called up Ron Marinaccio on Saturday to add an extra arm, but the Yankees will feel a loss of consistency in the bullpen.  Green will be out for the remainder of the 2022 season.

While the Yankees have a great deal of lineup depth, the situation is far from ideal -- especially with timelines all largely unknown and a lot of bad news in a short amount of time.

Article by: Mary Grace Donaldson



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