With Yanks A Mash Unit, Depth Tested Immediately
by John Jastremski
Apr 03, 2019 | 3114 views | 0 0 comments | 348 348 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the start of the 2019 baseball season upon us, it’s basically impossible to change your perception of what you may have believed a week ago all of a sudden.

After all, these teams have played fewer than ten games in a marathon 162-game season. In other words, the season is very young and there is a whole lot to learn.

But when it comes to early season adversity and challenges, the Yankees have faced their first crisis of 2019. And no, that crisis does not stem from starting by dropping two games to the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

The crisis for Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees is the injury bug, which has become a major problem.

The Yankees broke camp without the services of Didi Gregorius for half the season, but also knew Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances and C.C. Sabathia would not start the season in the big leagues.

So right out of the gate, the Yankees were behind the eight-ball when it came to healthy bodies.

After Sunday, the situation turned from bad to worse.

The Yankees placed Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list with a strained bicep, which is bad enough. But who knew it wouldn’t be the worst Yankee news of the day?

After Monday’s game, the team announced that Miguel Andujar, the runner-up for the AL Rookie of the Year, has a partially torn labrum. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, but may face season-ending surgery.

There’s no minimizing this news in any way. It is a horrific blow to the Yankees lineup.

Andujar is a hitting machine who puts the ball in play and drives in runs at a high level. In fact, his development a season ago minimized the need to sign free-agent infielder Manny Machado.

With Andujar in the mix, the Yankees were set in the infield for the longterm. Andujar at third base, Gleyber Torres at second, and eventually Didi Gregorius at shortstop was a beautiful nucleus.

Now it’s possible the Yankees could play a good chunk of 2019 without Gregorious or Andujar.

That’s a whole lot of bad news, but there are some silver linings. The Yankees always seem to find answers in the course of a season.

D.J. LeMahieu was signed without having a specific position. This is a player who won a batting title back in 2016 and is a Gold Glove-caliber infielder. He will be counted on to anchor the infield.

In addition, the Yankees will have to hope Troy Tulowitzki can find the fountain of youth and hold down the fort at shortstop until Gregorius returns.

I guess the Yankees can put to bed the idea that they had too many bodies for not enough spots.

Let the scramble begin.

You can listen to me all week overnight from 2 to 5:40 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM. You can also watch me Wednesday & Thursday at 5 p.m. on “The Thread” on SNY.

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