It’s no secret that the Yankees are absolutely decimated by injuries right now. Some might even look at a team one could assemble with the players currently on the IL and say that it would beat the team that consists of players who are healthy. Here’s what the IL looks like right now with their WAR from last season:
Keep in mind, there are some discrepancies when calculating WAR for position players versus pitchers (especially relief pitchers), but a WAR of about 2.3 is considered to be a “solid starter” by FanGraphs. Thus, it is as if the Yankees are currently down ten solid starters. The average WAR from the table even takes into account the three players who didn’t play at all in 2018. It also takes into account Bird’s WAR of 0.0. If you take them out of the equation, the average WAR bumps up to 3.6. That is considered missing seven “good players” right below All-Star level (4-5 WAR).
If you want to compare the black hole that is the injured list between this season and last season, it is quite startling. In total, there were 23 DL (as it was called last year) stints. This ranked tenth-most in the MLB. The 2019 team has already had nine through 15 games. Granted, a couple of them occurred in Spring Training, but the sentiment is the same nonetheless. And to make matters worse, prospects who were expected to potentially make an impact in the MLB this year, such as Estevan Florial and Michael King, are also on the shelf. At this rate, fans might want to dust off your old glove – they might get the call.
The Yankees just need to hold down the fort until the All-Star break. If the current timelines are correct, they could get key players such as Severino, Betances, Stanton, and Hicks back by then. Throw in possible returns from Gregorius and maybe even Montgomery and the team will be infused with a boatload of talent. But until then, the Mike Tauchman’s, Clint Frazier’s, and Gio Urshela’s of the world will have to weather the storm.