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Revisiting the impact of the Yankees’ injuries

Back towards the end of April, I wrote an article dissecting the impact of the Yankees’ injuries up to that point. At the time, they had placed 11 players on the disabled list with a variety of injuries. The team was 10-9 then. After racing out to a 62-33 record before the All-Star break, they have gone a relatively pedestrian 18-14 since. Of course, they are missing their MVP-caliber right fielder in Aaron Judge, their supposed-to-be All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez, their shortstop Didi Gregorius, their closer Aroldis Chapman, and more.

So at this point in the season, as of August 25, their 23 total DL stints are tied for 12th in the league. The Dodgers lead the way with 37, and the White Sox have the least with 15. Roster Resource takes the projected preseason values of players to their team and uses them to calculate the roster effect rating of injuries. In this metric, the Yankees are 12th with a roster effect rating of 6.55.

Of course, this figure can be somewhat skewed. The reason being that it claims to use preseason projected values. In the Yankees’ case, that likely means players such as Greg Bird and Sanchez are rated higher than their performance this year indicates. Nevertheless, there’s no doubting the fact that Sanchez wields a lethal bat when he is on and, counting this year as an outlier, is arguably the best hitting catcher in the game.

Judge’s absence is the one that seems to sting the most. He is the face of this team and a big part of the lineup. He currently does not have a timetable due to lingering pain in his wrist. Another key current loss is that of Chapman. While the Yankees have a deep bullpen and guys like Dellin Betances can surely pick up the slack, a healthy Chapman is going to be key for the Yankees to make a deep postseason run. He too is without a timetable after pitching through his knee tendinitis for most of the season. And we can’t forget about Gregorius – he is the captain of the infield and a valuable player on both sides of the ball.

Here is a look at some key players and the total time they’ve missed this year as of August 27:

Player Days on DL (# stints)
Aaron Judge 31 (1)
Didi Gregorius 7 (1)
Gary Sanchez 58 (2)
Masahiro Tanaka 31 (1)
Aroldis Chapman 5 (1)
Gleyber Torres 20 (1)
Aaron Hicks 13 (1)
J.A. Happ 10 (1)
Greg Bird 58 (1)
CC Sabathia 23 (2)
Jordan Montgomery 117 (1)
Tommy Kahnle 39 (1)
Clint Frazier 72 (2)

Both Sanchez and Gregorius are expected back by the time the Yankees open up a 9-game road trip on Labor Day with stops in Oakland, Seattle, and Minnesota. So while they are slowly but surely getting back to full strength, there is no denying that the team has had its fair share of injuries. However, they’ve kept chugging along, still on pace for over 100 wins and owning the league’s second-best record. Who knows how they’ll fare with the squad fully intact?