What Went Wrong: Injuries

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The 2013 season is over and we’ve had a week to catch our breath. It’s time to review the year that was, starting with the Yankees’ significant injuries. They pretty much defined the season.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Every single team deals with injuries every single year. It’s impossible to make it through the full 162-game season without losing players to injury, either nagging or severe. Injuries come with the territory and the Yankees had a lot of them in 2013. They didn’t use a franchise record 56 players out of the kindness of their heart — they lost roughly 1,400 man games to injury and used the Major League DL a ridiculous (and MLB-high) 28 times this season. If you wore pinstripes this summer, chances are you got hurt at one point or another.

For the most part, we can fit every injury into one of two categories: predictable and unpredictable. A player rolls his ankle running through first base? Unpredictable. Not necessarily surprising, it happens, but not something you’d expect. But a pitcher with a history of arm problems blowing out his elbow? Yeah that’s predictable. Some guys are so injury prone it’s a matter of when they’ll get hurt, not if. You want to think this is the year they’ll stay healthy — remember when being a full-time DH was supposed to keep Nick Johnson healthy? — but it very rarely is.

The Yankees had a ton of injuries this year, some more devastating than others. We’re not going to focus on the nagging day-to-day stuff or quick 15-day DL stints in this post. We’re going to look at the long-term injuries — both the predictable and unpredictable ones — meaning the guys who missed most or all of the regular season. I’m leaving Alex Rodriguez (left hip) out of this because we knew coming into the year he would be out until at least the All-Star break. I want to focus on the players everyone expected (or hoped) would be on the roster come Opening Day.

Predictable Injury: Derek Jeter
It all started last September, when Jeter fouled several pitches off his left ankle/foot and played through a bone bruise late in the season. In Game One of the ALCS, the ankle finally gave out and fractured. The Cap’n had surgery in October and the initial timetable had him on track for Spring Training and the start of the season. He’s Derek Jeter and he works harder than everyone, so he’ll make it back in time, right? Wrong.

Jeter’s progress in camp was deliberate as he nursed the ankle, and it wasn’t until mid-March that he appeared in his first Grapefruit League game. He played five exhibition games before needing a cortisone shot in the ankle and being ruled out for Opening Day. Here’s the timeline that followed:

  • March 31st: Yankees place Jeter on 15-day DL.
  • April 18th: Yankees announced Jeter suffered a setback — a second (and smaller) fracture in the ankle. He was not expected to return until the All-Star break.
  • April 27th: Jeter is transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Vidal Nuno.
  • July 11th: Yankees activate Jeter off DL. He goes 1-for-4 in his first game back but suffers a calf strain running out a ground ball.
  • July 23rd: Jeter is retroactively placed on the 15-day DL after the calf doesn’t respond to rest and treatment.
  • July 28th: Yankees activate Jeter. He plays five games before the calf starts acting up again.
  • August 5th: Jeter is retroactively placed on the 15-day DL (again) as rest and treatment doesn’t do the trick (again).
  • August 26th: Yankees activate Jeter. He plays 12 games before his surgically-repaired left ankle becomes sore.
  • September 11th: For the fourth time, Jeter is placed on the 15-day DL. The moved officially ends his season. Three days later, the Yankees transferred him to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for David Phelps.

Four DL trips for what amounts to three different leg injuries. Jeter appeared in only 17 of the team’s 162 games and looked pretty much nothing like himself, with little impact at the plate and close to zero mobility in the field. He was never the rangiest defender, but it was especially bad this season. When a 38-year-old shortstop — Jeter turned 39 in June — has a major ankle surgery, you have to expect there to be some delays and complications during the rehab process, even when he has a full offseason to rest.

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Unpredictable Injury: Mark Teixeira
Up until last season, Teixeira was an iron man. He was good for 155+ games played a year every year, but various injuries (cough, wrist, calf) limited him to only 123 games in 2012. With the cough behind him and an offseason of rest for the calf, Teixeira was expected to be as good as new for this season. Then, while with Team USA preparing for the World Baseball Classic, he felt some discomfort in his right wrist and had to be shut down.

The soreness turned out to be a tendon sheath injury, which can be pretty severe if not allowed to heal properly. Teixeira and the Yankees opted for rehab because there was no reason not to — surgery, which was always a realistic possibility, would have ended his season anyway, so might as well try the rehab route first. He did the rest and rehab thing before rejoining the team on the final day of May. Teixeira appeared in 15 games before the wrist started acting up again. On July 3rd, he had the season-ending surgery. No one saw the wrist problem, which was described as a “wear-and-tear” injury, coming.

Predictable Injury: Kevin Youkilis
When it became official that A-Rod needed his hip surgery in early-December, the Yankees had to find a replacement everyday third baseman. The free agent market had little to offer, especially once Eric Chavez decided to move closer to home in Arizona. New York signed Youkilis to a one-year, $12M contract to replace Rodriguez despite his history of back problems.

Not counting four separate day-to-day bouts with spasms from 2008-2010, Youkilis spent time on the DL with back problems in both 2011 and 2012. That doesn’t include some nagging day-to-day stuff between the DL stints either. Sure enough, 17 games in the season, Youkilis’ back started barking. He missed a handful of games with tightness before aggravating the injury on a feet-first slide into first base on a defensive play. That sent him to the DL with a bulging disc. Youkilis returned in late-May and managed to play another eleven games before needing season-ending surgery to repair the damaged disc. For their $12M investment, the Yankees received 118 mostly ineffective plate appearances. Backs don’t get better, then just get worse.

Unpredictable Injuries: Curtis Granderson
Aside from Jeter and A-Rod having surgery in the offseason, the parade of injuries started in the first home game of Spring Training. On the fifth pitch of his first Grapefruit League at-bat, Granderson took a J.A. Happ fastball to the right forearm. Just like that, the Yankees had lost their top power hitter for three months with a broken arm. They’re lucky (in a sense) that the injury occurred so early in Spring Training and Granderson was able to return in mid-May, not much later in the season.

After returning from the DL in the team’s 39th game of the season, Granderson appeared in eight games before another errant pitch sent him to the sidelines. This time it was Rays left-hander Cesar Ramos who did the deed. The pitch broke Granderson’s left hand and would keep him out ten weeks even though the initial diagnosis called for a six-to-eight week recovery time. Curtis returned to the team in early-August and wound up playing in only 61 of the club’s 162 games. Hit-by-pitch injuries are the definition of unpredictable injuries.

(John Munson/Star-Ledger)
Pineda didn’t do much more than this in 2013. (John Munson/Star-Ledger)

Predictable Injury: Michael Pineda
Thanks to last May’s labrum surgery, Pineda was expected to miss the start of the 2013 season but be a factor in the second half. He started an official minor league rehab assignment in early-June and exhausted the full 30 days before the Yankees determined he was not big league ready. They optioned Pineda to Triple-A Scranton in early-July and less than a month later, he came down with shoulder tightness. Although tests came back clean, the tightness all but assured we wouldn’t see him in pinstripes for the second straight season. For what it’s worth, Brian Cashman said during his end-of-season press conference they shut Pineda down as a healthy player after more than a year of rehab and pitching just to get him rest. Given the nature of the injury, it was no surprise the right-hander was slow to return and ultimately a non-factor in 2013.

Unpredictable Injury: Frankie Cervelli
Thanks to some throwing improvement in Spring Training and the fact that Chris Stewart can’t hit, Cervelli took over as the team’s everyday catcher early in the season. He started 16 of the team’s first 22 games, but in that 16th start, Rajai Davis fouled off a pitch that hit Frankie square in his exposed right hand. His suffered a fracture and was expected to miss at least six weeks … until he suffered a stress reaction in his elbow during rehab. The stress reaction supposedly stemmed from a change in his throwing motion to compensate for the hand injury. Cervelli was suspended 50-games for his ties to Biogenesis in August but that really didn’t matter; the elbow injury had ended his season anyway. Catching is brutal, but a broken hand on a foul tip is still not something you can see coming.

Predictable Injury: Travis Hafner
You name it, and chances are it sent Hafner to the DL at some point in recent years. Most notably, he missed almost the entire 2008 season due to right shoulder surgery. The same shoulder started barking this summer, first in mid-May and then again mid-July. It’s probably not a coincidence his production completely tanked after the first bout with soreness. Hafner was placed on the DL in late-July and missed the rest of the season, for all intents and purposes. He was activated for the last few games of the season but only played in one. Pronk visited the DL seven times from 2008-2012, so it’s no surprise he wound up there in 2013.

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  • jjyank

    They had some shit luck, no denying that.

    Honestly, I’m at peace with the 2013 season. It sucked at times, but there were some great moments that allowed me to be proud to be a Yankee fan anyway.

    It’s the New York Yankees. They won’t stay down for long.

    • Pat D

      As long as I exist, you shall have no peace!

    • ChienMingTheMerciless

      Too true jjyank. Definitely times of this sucks but in the end I’m okay with it.

  • JCK

    Unpredictable: Jayson Nix gets his hand broken by an R.A. Dickey knuckleball.

  • ChrisS

    Hit-by-pitch injuries are the definition of unpredictable injuries.
    Disagree. When Long “fixed” Granderson’s swing, they had him stand closer to the plate. Plus, when Granderson’s mechanics are out of sync, he tends to lunge even more out over the plate. Is it something that you can say, yes, if he keeps doing that he’ll be injured sometime in the six weeks? Probably not, but when a player starts cheating to catch outside fastballs from lefthanders (they’ll get some HRs off of good ones) they may catch a few surprises inside as well. Both pitchers that hit Granderson were lefties throwing inside to keep him honest.

    Barry Bonds crept closer and closer to the plate over his career (as well as injecting HGH) to help him cheat against lefties and he didn’t wear a giant chunk of armor over his right arm for nothing.

    • JGYank

      Batters get HBP all the time. More often than not they will walk away alright. It’s definitely unpredictable since you never know when you are going to get hit and I would have never guessed durable guys like Grandy would have went down more than once from HBP.

      • jjyank

        Yeah. Say what you want about Grandy being closer to the plate, but you cannot tell me with a straight face that you could predict lengthy DL stints from two HBPs in one season. That is abnormal, for any player.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Exactly.

    • JGYank

      Grandy does stand close to the plate but I think the bigger problem is that he doesn’t get out the way. Especially his hands which is where he got hit both times.

  • Darren

    I could see Texeira totally falling off a cliff next year.

    • I’m One

      Possible that the majority of his power will be sapped, I agree. I doubt his BA and OBP fall off much, but a lack of power would significantly limit his value. He and Jeter are very big question marks for next season (as is the outcome of the A-Rod/MLB circus).

    • JGYank

      He’s already been declining and wrist injuries are tricky so I could see it. But at least his defense should help provide value in case that happens.

    • ChrisS

      Yeah, his BA and OBP has dropped each of the last three seasons already. The decent SLG has made him acceptable as a 1B/DH. If the repaired wrist saps any more of Teixeira’s power, we could be looking at a $22.5m first baseman with a .325/.425/.750 slash line, which would put him average to below average for the position in MLB. The 2014 Yankees need to get added value from a lot of positions to make up for significant declines in their traditional positions of strength.

      • Darren

        I assume you meant .225/.325

        It would be an amazing comeback if Texiera ever hit .300 or had an OBP or .400.

        It’s way more likely Jeter hits .300 than Tex.

        • JGYank

          I think that was an OBP/SLG/OPS slash line not a BA/OBP one.

        • JAG

          Yeah, I was gonna say, where do we sign up for that Tex? Also, a .750 SLG is pretty crazy good too. I think some numbers got mixed up somewhere in there.

      • jjyank

        Your point and your slash line for Tex seem to be at odds with each other. I’m guessing that’s a typo.

        At any rate, you guys are probably right regarding Tex. Who knows though. If his power is sapped, maybe he’ll stop aiming for the Short Porch and his average will improve. I dunno. Call me an optimist.

        • JGYank

          I’m assuming he gave an OBP/SLG/OPS line since the first two add up to the third.

          • jjyank

            That makes more sense. Chris should have specified that though, since that’s not a traditional slash line.

            • JGYank

              Yeah took me a minute to notice. But still I’d take that line from Tex considering the wrist injury and decline. The SLG and OPS are low for his standards but he’ll make up for it with the glove and that’s still better than Overbay. Obviously not worth the contract but still an upgrade.

    • Dick M

      He had one foot on the banana peel before the wrist injury.

  • JBR

    For me the issue isn’t the injuries
    But instead a minor league system
    that had nobody ready to pick up the slack
    Cashman Newman and Oppenheimer
    need to be held accountable for that

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      The guys in the minors all got injured as well. Pretty crappy year, injury wise, all around.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Same tired line.

      Let me ask you, who did you think was going to be available from the system that wasn’t? Why is this suddenly such an awful thing now, and just something we just talked about the previous years when we knew this was happening? Why is this some big surprise all of a sudden?

      • JGYank

        Well, the system did take a step backwards in many ways. The only kid that seems to be making strides is Sanchez and he’s still not ready. But this team faced way to many obstacles this year and most of them were injuries with the others being the division depth, number of contenders, overcoming crappy production from CC and Hughes, September pitching collapse from Kuroda and the pen, running out crappy lineups for most of the season, etc. But there was just no way to prepare for all those injuries. Even a good farm wouldn’t have done too much to cushion the blow. However, the FO didn’t help the cause last offseason making the team worse with no good proven C, Ichrio, and so on.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Yes, but there was no one who could have been predicted to step up and have the kind of impact folks weem to have wanted barring someone taking a major, major step forward.

          We knew that, in all likelihood, the help from AAA was going to look like what it looked like. Hell, we may have even gotten more out of some of the guys called up than imagined.

          This isn’t sugar-coating the situation. I just feel like we’re double-dipping in the complaint jar. Does that make sense?

          • JGYank

            Yeah it makes sense and I agree with you. But I think the frustration (outside of JBR) is less “why didn’t these guys step up at the MJ level” and more “why can’t we get the farm moving in the right direction.” It would of been unfair to expect much out of guys who weren’t ready to be in the majors to begin with since our system has the prospects at the lower levels. But like I said the farm stepped backward and that is screwing us over for 2014 and beyond.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I think it’s more than we’ve taken two steps forward, 1 1/2 steps back with the farm system. They’re doing a better job in 2013 than they were in, say, 2003.

              There were good players drafted and developed. Then too many of those guys stumbled. Now we seem to be seeing what is the start of some solid players, especially position players, climbing the system.

              I don’t know what 2013 really was yet. I think we need to see what the farm looks like in 2014 to really judge 2013.

              • jjyank

                “I don’t know what 2013 really was yet. I think we need to see what the farm looks like in 2014 to really judge 2013.”

                Agreed. We’ve seen what happens when guys fly through the system without a hiccup. I think you’ve heard of them: Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. In the long run, maybe it’s a good thing that some of these guys have experienced some adversity in the minors. What counts is how they bounce back from it.

              • JGYank

                It seems like we are drafting better recently, but it’s hard to gauge development because of the injuries and setbacks for some guys. I guess your right about seeing what we get in 2014 but I still don’t feel like things progressed the way they should have this year. Maybe it’s just the injuries to Hensley, Austin, Banuelos and others but IMO the farm should be in a better position after 2012.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  They have been at this for what 7 yrs the farm should be in better shape in general. Not starts all through the system but not what it is now.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Also, I don’t think it’s true at all that Sanchez was the only kid that took strides forward, even in the upper levels.

          Austin seemed to be swinging a very good bat, albeit in a SSS, after returning from injury.

          Heathcott stalled in some areas, but showed improvement in others, even staying on the field longer than any other season.

          Depaula made it stateside. Ramirez looked to be transitioning to AAA well. Murphy went from AA to the bigs.

          This is without mentioning some of the guys a lot of the fans here really seem to like in the lower levels, for which I will take the Chad Jennings approach.

          • JGYank

            Bird was good as well. The farm isn’t all bad. But my point was there were also a good amount of guys taking steps backward (Betances transitioning to the pen, Banuelos injured, Hensley injured, etc).

            • JGYank

              I was exaggerating with the Sanchez statement, but I think we all just want to see more guys have progress.

            • jjyank

              Is Betances transitioning to the pen really a step back, though? He was pretty bad as a starter, and he showed some real promise with his reliever stats. I might actually consider that a step forward based on what he was a year or two ago. Not based on what his potential was when he was drafted, of course, but I think it’s a step forward based on the adjusted expectations for him.

              • JGYank

                Considering he could of been a solid SP, I would say it’s a step back at least in potential value. But he still could a very good RP so he could still be a success.

                • jjyank

                  Big picture, overall style, I agree with you. But I think that ship has sailed a year ago, so the fact that he’s shown the ability to contribute positively at the MLB level (potentially) I think is a step forward based on where he is right now.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  He was never the steadiest of prospects, though. That ceiling wasn’t a highly probable one.

          • LK

            For the most part I agree with your overall points about the farm system, but you’re looking through pinstipe-colored glasses on some of this.

            Tyler Austin put up a injury-plagued .717 OPS as a prospect who offers nothing on defense or the basepaths. That doesn’t mean he’s a non-prospect, or that he won’t become an above-average MLB regular, or that he won’t kill the ball from day 1 next year and end up in the bigs in mid-2014. But it’s not a good sign, and it’s not a neutral sign, either. It’s a bad sign, and there’s no other way to interpret it.

            The farm system is never going to churn out future HOFs every year like some fans irrationally expect, but at this point it’s also a clear problem for the organization – the front office has admitted as much.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              There’d be reasons to be bear-ish on Austin. We could also just as easily say that we’re not sure what we saw for most of this season due to injury.

              I can honestly say I’d look at anyone’s system this way, not just ours.

              • LK

                OK but honestly, if a prospect was so injured that his season’s preformance isn’t at all reflective of his ability, that’s a bad thing, right?

                I’m totally on board with not giving up on Austin, but if you say this season didn’t downgrade him as a prospect you’re simply kidding yourself.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  Sure. His “stock” has dropped.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              I would be satisfied if they produced solid everyday guys going forward. They have a hard time doing that.

    • Jonathan

      I agree. We’ve had so many great prospects just stop being effective after reaching Double-A. I know that’s where most fall off but were talking about a dozen guys in a row. The talent is undeniable but the injury/development issues have to be addressed.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Who are these dozen guys who stopped being effective after reaching AA? I can understand digging deep into last decade, but I’m not sure who you’re referring to here.

        • Jonathan

          I guess being effective is an overstatement. I guess it’s more like couldn’t maintain or improve their stock. And I also meant players not being able to advance past A ball or if they do keep their stock while going to MLB or AAA. I phrased that poorly. Banuelos/Betances/Brackman/Romine/Gumbs/Heathcott/Williams/Austin/Flores/Montgomery/Campos. That’s 11. I guess Murphy kept his stock in that mess. Everyone else dropped.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’m on my phone, which means it cuts out past Gumbs. Still, though, seriously, don’t give me a bunch of guys still developing……and Andy Brackman. Here I was expecting you to throw John Ford-Griffin at me or something.

            You have zero argument here. Sorry.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Still, though, seriously, don’t give me a bunch of guys still developing……and Andy Brackman.

              ———————

              True but all he can use is the spects they have and what they have done recently. It’s been ehhh to say the least.

              • Pat D

                Then he could have used the guys I mentioned, not guys who are still in the system and still have a chance.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  They can’t be completely written off but they have had some ups and downs.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    That wasn’t the point he was trying to make, though.

            • Pat D

              David Parrish? Jon Poterson? CJ Henry? JB Cox?

              • Robinson Tilapia

                There’s a list of flops to be drawn up for sure. He just didn’t draw it up.

                Bring me the head of Bradley Suttle.

                • Pat D

                  OK, you bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia.

    • WhittakerWalt

      When you routinely have the best record in baseball it’s difficult to get decent draft picks. Drafting low is not a great way to replenish the farm system. I’m willing to take the 5 championships over the past 18 years in exchange for a barren minor league system. No one even notices until you actually need to bring up good players all of a sudden.

  • Jonathan

    Do Phelps/Gardner/Almonte/Nix/Nunez/Joba/Nuno injuries not count?

    • Jonathan

      I guess Almonte/Nuno weren’t expected to be on the opening day roster.

    • your mom

      I don’t think Mike has the time to get into every single injury. But there’s no question that even these injuries had some kind of effect on the team. If Phelps or Nuno stayed healthy maybe we wouldn’t have had to endure Hughes’ bullshit as long as we should have.

      • Jonathan

        Yeah, and perhaps Andy could have gotten a 15 day breather for his back in the middle of that bad stretch.

  • Bubba

    I’d split the difference on Jeter.

    A set-back… predictable

    Down production from 2012… predictable

    Lose him for 145 games… unpredictable

    His injury was unpredictably predictable.

    • Darren

      yeah, I think once he wasn’t gonna make it back for opening day, most people would have thought he would play maybe 120 games and hit .270. If he did, that might have made the difference betwee making the WC or not. Then again you can say that about almost any of the injuries as well as the shitty years by CC and Phil.

  • The Walking Eddard

    I think if we had just two of Jeter, Alex, Teixera and Granderson for most of the season we’d be in the playoffs. They had to play 4 replacement players at these 4 positions and that’s not even counting RF and C so that’s 6 replacement players for much of the season. DH was only productive in April and then September when Alex/Soriano/Granderson came back.

    We had 2 players above replacement level from May-August: Gardner and Robbie Cano. Once the pitching came back down to earth there was just no way to overcome that.

  • KD

    Everyone seems to have forgotten Gardner. A DL stint for gardy is predictable, I’m afraid.

    • JGYank

      How? He had one nagging injury a year ago and maybe one I’m forgetting (didn’t he injure his wrist a while ago?) but he almost played the entire year without too many off days. It’s not like he goes on the dl every year or multiple times in the same season.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’s possible he’s referring to style of play leading to being more injury-prone. I can buy that.

        • JGYank

          Yeah. Speed guys tend to be more injury prone. But unless Gardy gets injured again, he’s still a guy that can play everyday and doesn’t have a huge injury history at all. I still consider him pretty durable, not as durable as say Cano, but he can play 150+ games.

          • jjyank

            Agreed. His issues have been of the fluke variety (like the elbow issue from diving/sliding for a ball). It’s not like he’s popping hamstrings all the time for using his legs.

  • fred robbins

    It was a tough year for injuries on all levels, but to me, it is the way the injuries were handled and how the positions were filled. I can not imagine the Yankees doing much of anything but the same– they sill seem to want old players, they still seem to value their development of young players and they still seem to think Cashman is a good GM…. that alone makes it improbable there will be much of a team– they still count on Jeter for shortstop. How is that for stupidity and rigidity? They still make excuses for Cano’s lack of hustle saying he tries really hard. They don’t seem to remember watching him stand in the box when a batted ball of his might be FOUL— only to see it blow fair with him just a few feet from home plate.. He is a disgrace to young players. Joe Madden would bench him…. same for Charlie Manual of Philly… same for any good manager
    this is an unwatchable team for a good 4 years

    • Silvio

      They’ll bench him after they sign him (if they sign him).

    • jjyank

      A couple things.

      “they still count on Jeter for shortstop. How is that for stupidity and rigidity?”

      It’s real, real easy to sit at your computer and type that. But do you really think it’s easy to handle an aging superstar of the largest franchise in the game? A surefire, first ballot Hall of Famer and the captain of the team? Pro tip: it’s not fucking easy.

      “They still make excuses for Cano’s lack of hustle saying he tries really hard. They don’t seem to remember watching him stand in the box when a batted ball of his might be FOUL— only to see it blow fair with him just a few feet from home plate.. He is a disgrace to young players.”

      Wha? A disgrace? I’ve never heard anything that would suggest that Cano doesn’t bust his ass. Sure, he may dog it down the line on infield grounders and the like, but I’ve never seen anything to discredit his work ethic. In fact, quite the opposite. I remember the spring training specials on MLBN, 30 Teams in 30 Days, and Cano was on camera, staying late after the days work was done, to help A-Rod run situational hitting drills with Nunez.

      What a disgrace for young players to look up to the best second baseman on the planet right now. How fucking terrible for them.

      • WhittakerWalt

        “I’ve never heard anything that would suggest that Cano doesn’t bust his ass. Sure, he may dog it down the line on infield grounders and the like…”

        You just contradicted yourself.

        • jjyank

          No, but I should have been more clear. I was referring more to training and preparation, hence the following statements that you left out of your response. Cano has never shown up to camp out of shape, and he does all he can to be a great player. That doesn’t scream “lazy” to me.

          I’m also of the opinion that I don’t give a flying fuck if he runs out a routine ground ball or not. Maybe that’s why the guy plays in 159+ games every single year. I rather more games of healthy Cano than less games of uber-hustle Cano who has 2 more infield hits on his resume.

          • WhittakerWalt

            I love Cano. He’s the greatest second baseman we’ve ever had. I hope he stays a Yank for life and goes into the Hall of Fame. AND he occasionally dogs it, which annoys the crap out of me. It’s possible to think both things.

          • Darren

            There was a long article in the Post that explores the dichotomy between Cano’s hard work and good ethic in most areas of the game (hitting drills, fielding drills, eating right, etc.) and the one area of the game that he obviously had a problem with (running hard).

            It’s not an either or answer. Just because he works hard at hitting doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticised for not hustling. And just because he doesn’t hustle doesn’t mean he’s a disgrace to the game and not a hard worker.

            • jjyank

              “And just because he doesn’t hustle doesn’t mean he’s a disgrace to the game and not a hard worker.”

              And that’s really the only point that I was trying to make.

              I’m not saying that I don’t WANT Cano to hustle. I’m just saying that I really don’t care. And this last statement was probably more for WittakerWalt above.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      See you in 2017, then.

  • The Other Mister D

    Wouldn’t it be quicker and easier to write “What Went Right”?

    • I’m One

      Depends. If you just say “signed a number of players discarded by other teams and actually got better than replacement-level production from some and competed for a playoff spot for all but the final week of the season when most teams would have folded in May”, then yes. But I think there’s a bit more than that.

    • JGYank

      Cano, Kuroda for 2/3 of the year, Nova, Pettitte, Robertson, Mo, Soriano. Kelley, Logan, and Gardy for most of the year. Done.

  • your mom

    Anyone want to predict the inevitable injuries for next season???

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Sterling, broken pun muscle.
      Axisa, strained posting muscle.
      forensic, aggravated Hughes-missing tendon.

      • WhittakerWalt

        OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!

    • I’m One

      Brian Cashman will re-injure his broken leg after rehabbing too hard.

  • Dick M

    It’s pretty amazing that Cash mostly gets a pass for Youkilis. Normally when you piss 12 mill away like that there is some accountability.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Please point out all the places on this site where Cashman “gets a pass.” There isn’t a comments section that goes by without the endless cries of FIRE CASHMAN or CASHMAN FAILED.