Archive for Derek Jeter
Got a trio of injury updates to pass along…
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) will throw 50 pitches in an Extended Spring Training game tomorrow. Brian Cashman has said they want to stretch him out to 65 pitches before sending him out on an official rehab assignment. Seems like the earliest possible return is late-June. [Jack Curry]
- Travis Hafner (shoulder) will take batting practice before tonight’s game. If that goes well, he will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter. The Yankees will face left-hander Mark Buehrle on Friday, so I guess the earliest Pronk will return to the lineup is Saturday. [Meredith Marakovits]
- Joba Chamberlain (oblique) is not yet ready to come off the DL. He’ll make at least one more minor league rehab appearance with Triple-A Scranton. The Yankees swapped Brett Marshall for Dellin Betances today, just to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. [Bryan Hoch]
Update: Chad Jennings has lots more injury news, so let’s recap…
- Derek Jeter (ankle) was checked out recently and although he’s healing well, he’s still not ready to do any sort of baseball activities. He could shed his walking boot soon, however.
- Ivan Nova (triceps) will pitch in a minor league game on Monday. He felt some discomfort in his back last week, near his left shoulder, so he’s been setback a bit.
- Alex Rodriguez (hip) hit off a tee and soft toss the other day. It’s slow and stud with him, a minor league rehab assignment is still a long ways off.
- Kevin Youkilis (back) has also been hitting off a tee and soft toss, and he’s expected to take batting practice soon. Seems like David Adams‘ audition at third base will last for at least a few weeks.
No team has been more beset by injuries this year than the Yankees. They’ve used the DL ten times already, the most in the big leagues. Some injuries are more serious than others, and some absences are more noticeable than others. Still, ten players on the DL one month into the season is a little extreme.
With a lineup that is averaging just four runs per game since the blowout Indians series (team 106 wRC+ overall), it’s clear the offense doesn’t pack as much punch as it once did. The Yankees can’t hit lefties at all — .225/.300/.365 (78 wRC+) as a team — and the injuries are a major reason why. The pitching staff has been pretty awesome (4.22 runs per game, 3.64 FIP), and that’s why the club owns the second best record in baseball at 17-10.
Some of those injured players are getting closer to a return, and a month gives us a good enough to look to determine which guy the Yankees have missed the most. With all due to respect to Kevin Youkilis, Ivan Nova, and Frankie Cervelli, this is limited to players who started the season on the DL and would have unquestionably made the 25-man roster if healthy. That means no Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral, basically, and it leaves us with four prominent position players.
The Yankees lost their top power hitter five pitches into his Grapefruit League season, when an errant J.A. Happ pitch broke Granderson’s forearm and put him on the DL for more than two months. Curtis played in his first Extended Spring Training game just yesterday, getting two at-bats before it started raining. The Yankees have hit an MLB-best 38 homers this season, so they haven’t been the powerless punch and judy offense so many (including me) expected. Still, losing a legitimate 40-homer hitter is a blow to any team.
October ankle surgery turned into an April setback, which will force the Cap’n to the sidelines until the All-Star break. Jeter hit .316/.362/.429 (117 wRC+) last season and that’s close to impossible to replace at the shortstop position – the team’s shortstops are currently hitting .214/.289/.264 (52 wRC+) – but the Yankees especially miss his right-handed bat against lefty pitchers. He hit .364/.399/.542 (157 wRC+) against southpaws in 2012, and boy would that fit nicely atop the lineup these days.
The Bombers knew about A-Rod‘s hip injury in December, so they were able to secure a more than capable replacement in Youkilis. That said, the old and broken down version of A-Rod produced more in 2012 (.272/.353/.430, 114 wRC+) than the totally awesome and rejuvenated version of Youkilis in 2013 (.266/.347/.422, 108 wRC+). The difference is especially noticeable against lefties, where A-Rod massively outproduced his third base replacement (152 vs. -40 wRC+). Rodriguez’s right-handed bat would fit perfectly into the middle of the lineup, especially against southpaws.
Teixeira hurt his wrist in mid-May while with preparing for the World Baseball Classic with Team USA, so the Yankees didn’t have much time to find a replacement. Lyle Overbay has been decent overall (98 wRC+) and much more than that against righties (.322/.375/.610, 163 wRC+), but he’s also been useless against lefties (-63 wRC+). Despite his decline, Teixeira was very productive last year (.251/.332/.475, 116 wRC+), especially against lefties (.269/.333/.531, 129 wRC+). Once again, that ability to mash southpaws is something the Yankees miss in a big way right now.
* * *
Four players who, in recent years, occupied the top four spots in the lineup. All are missed in their own way, but some are definitely missed more than others.
The Yankees have placed Ivan Nova on the 15-day DL with right triceps inflammation according to Dan Barbarisi. That’s pretty much the best case scenario. He left last night’s start with what was originally called elbow pain, but after the game he and Joe Girardi confirmed it was stiffness in the triceps and not the elbow.
Vidal Nuno has been called up to fill Nova’s vacated roster spot, and. Derek Jeter was moved over to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. David Phelps will replace Nova in the rotation and Nuno will work out of the bullpen.
4:22pm: A CT scan revealed a small crack in the area of the previous break, according to Brian Cashman. “We’re looking at sometime after the All-Star break,” said the GM. Jeter had been having more trouble with the ankle recently, but he doesn’t need surgery. Just rest.
4:06pm: Derek Jeter made an unscheduled visit to see Dr. Anderson in Charlotte following yesterday’s workout, Joe Girardi confirmed. He wouldn’t elaborate, only saying “put two and two together.” Brian Cashman will discuss the situation shortly.
Jeter, 38, did not workout last weekend and recently had his baseball activities scaled back. Sure sounds like he had another setback of some sorts, but maybe it’s just something minor and he’ll be back on the field in a few days. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, ankle injuries are never easy. Based on yesterday’s poll, RAB readers expected Jeter to return to the team in no fewer than four weeks.
It has been nearly six months since Derek Jeter had his left ankle surgery and nearly one month since he was setback by inflammation and required a cortisone shot. Yesterday we heard the Cap’n had to scale back his rehab work over the weekend, and that was before Joe Girardi confirmed Jeter isn’t particularly close to appearing in rehab games. From Andrew Marchand:
“[Early May] was a date that was thrown out there,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “The easiest way for me to say it is he will be back when he is back — when he can physically do it on an everyday basis, and I don’t think any of us will know the exact date until we go through some trial and error.
“He is not ready to play in games. I don’t think they necessarily have an exact date where they know he is going to play in games. We’ll just go day by day and see how he feels.”
“Sometimes you can take too many ground balls,” Girardi said. “They talked about lessening that load just because he was taking so many. Derek is such a creature of habit. To get him to break a cycle sometimes is difficult. He is going to want to do as much as he can as soon as he can, so we are just trying to make sure we don’t go too fast. But there was no setback.”
Girardi added that the scaled back the workload was not a setback — they’re making sure he doesn’t press too hard and aggravate anything, apparently — but saying Jeter “will be back when he’s back,” doesn’t sound particularly promising.
The Yankees will continue to rely on Eduardo Nunez at shortstop for the time being, assuming pitchers stop hitting him with pitches at some point soon. Jayson Nix is safe as the utility infielder even though he’s been dreadful on both sides of the ball so far. They simply don’t have another option right now. I do think they should start combing the trade market for a better backup infielder though, especially since a 38-year-old shortstop with a bum ankle will be need a capable backup even once healthy.
Anyway, the Yankees will be without Jeter for what will almost certainly be the entire month of April. How much longer will be miss after that? Who knows. Let’s find out what everyone thinks.
Via the AP: Derek Jeter has scaled back his workload has he rehabs from left ankle surgery/setback in Tampa. He took five rounds of batting practice in addition to fielding 21 ground balls and running in straight line yesterday, compared to fielding many more balls and running the bases last week.
Jeter, 38, did not do any rehab work over the weekend, which Brian Cashman confirmed to Andrew Marchand was planned. I don’t think this qualifies as a setback since he’s still doing some baseball activity, but it’s not terribly encouraging that the Cap’n had to reduce his work lately. I think we’ve all been expecting him to ramp it up a little more, if anything. Either way, it sounds like Jeter is still a long ways off from returning, and that’s not good news.
Got a trio of injury updates, courtesy of the AP…
- Derek Jeter (ankle) did some light running on the bases for the second consecutive day today, going first-to-third and third-to-first three times apiece. He also fielded 45 ground balls at short and started making throws to first, plus he took 32 swings in batting practice on the field.
- Curtis Granderson (forearm) had a round of follow-up x-rays yesterday and could be cleared to throw as soon as tomorrow. “Everything is looking good,” he said. Granderson has reportedly been cleared to swing a bat underwater, and he hopes to be given the okay to swing a fungo bat this weekend.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) faced hitters for the first time since surgery in a scheduled round of live batting practice on Tuesday. No word on how many pitches he threw or anything like that, but it’s still really good news. Big step in the rehab process.
Via Chad Jennings: Derek Jeter did some light running today, his first time doing anything more aggressive than walking since receiving a cortisone shot and being shut down with lingering soreness/inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. He also hit in the batting cages and took ground balls with a little bit of side-to-side movement. The Cap’n is making progress, but it still seems like he’s a ways off. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return until sometime in May.
In other news, Curtis Granderson has been cleared to swing a bat underwater. Joe Girardi said he is hopeful Granderson can start hitting off a tee and soft toss by the weekend. He’s been running and shagging fly balls for a while, but this is the first time he’s been cleared to do something with his right (broken) arm. Hopefully he’s not much more than two or three weeks away from returning.
Via Andy McCullough & Chad Jennings: Brian Cashman confirmed Derek Jeter will resume playing catch today and hopes the Cap’n can do even more in the coming days. “There is no exact schedule for Derek because it’s what his ankle allows him to do (and) we’re really not going to know that until he goes out there,” said Joe Girardi.
Jeter, 37, received a cortisone shot in his surgically repaired left ankle two weeks ago. He was apparently on track to be ready in time for Opening Day, but the team had to shut him down due to lingering soreness and inflammation last week. The Yankees say they want Jeter to play back-to-back nine inning games at shortstop before activating him off the DL, which means the original target return date of April 6th is wildly optimistic. I really do worry about there being that lingering soreness and inflammation all season.
Every team deals with injuries, but it feels like the Yankees have dealt with a full season’s worth of injuries just during Spring Training. They lost three of their best four hitters to new injuries or setbacks in the last few weeks on top of some carry-over injuries from last year and the offseason. All of the injuries have led to a whole bunch of scrap heaping, forcing the Yankees to grab guys like Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco, Lyle Overbay, and Vernon Wells these last few weeks.
Some of the team’s injured players will be back sooner than others, and some injuries figure to have more long-term impact that others. As always, expected return dates should be taken a grain of salt. Setbacks and lingering effects have a way of changing plans in a hurry. Let’s run down the team’s walking wounded heading into the 2013 campaign.
LHP Manny Banuelos
New York’s top prospect at this time last year, the 22-year-old Banuelos made just six starts for Triple-A Scranton last year due to a minor back issue and a major elbow issue. He was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in that left elbow, but at some point during his rehab he wound up blowing out the ligament and requiring Tommy John surgery. Banuelos had the procedure in October and is expected to miss the entire season, meaning he’ll lose basically two full years to injury at a crucial age in his development. For shame.
LHP Cesar Cabral
It’s easy to forget that Cabral, 24, had all but won a job out of Spring Training last year before suffering a fractured elbow near the end of camp. He has been rehabbing for the last 12 months and in fact he faced hitters for the first time since the injury earlier this week, throwing a round of live batting practice. The Yankees have indicated he is expected to return sometime in May or June.
Because he’s a Rule 5 Draft pick who missed all of last season due to injury, the Yankees have to keep Cabral on their active 25-man roster for at least 90 days this year. That’s basically half the season. Once they satisfy that requirement, he’ll is theirs to keep (and option to Triple-A). I’m sure the team will take their time with his rehab and everything, but at some point it will be decision time.
RHP Phil Hughes
Joe Girardi announced yesterday that Hughes will indeed start the season on the DL after missing a few weeks with a bulging disk in his back. He’s been starting minor league games and has a few more outings to go before rejoining the rotation, possibly as soon as the second time through. The 26-year-old Hughes has a lengthy injury history, but the back issue appears to be in the rear-view mirror.
SS Derek Jeter
The Cap’n played on a bone bruise in his left ankle last September and it wasn’t until Game One of the ALCS that the joint finally gave out and fractured. He had surgery in October and spent the winter rehabbing, but he was recently setback by some inflammation and soreness. He received a cortisone shot and will start the season on the DL, yet the targeted April 6th return date sure seem optimistic since he won’t resume baseball activity until at least Monday.
Given his age, position, and the nature of the injury, there’s a pretty good chance Jeter and the Yankees will have to deal with nagging soreness and tightness and all that all throughout the season. Players who suffered similar injuries (Stephen Drew, Jason Kendall, even Ravel Santana) needed months to get back to where they were before the injury, and time is a luxury the Yankees don’t have. They need Jeter in the lineup soon and if this thing lingers, it will be a huge problem. Eduardo Nunez has the chance of a lifetime in front of him and is suddenly an extremely important player for the 2013 Yankees. That is not ideal.
CF Curtis Granderson
The fifth pitch Granderson saw this spring broke his forearm. The 32-year-old is expected to be out until early-May, but anytime you have an arm or hand or wrist injury, there is the potential for it to linger. Granderson is the team’s top power hitter and he really doesn’t offer much else (besides walks), so anything that compromises his pop will severely impact his game. Everything is going well as far as the healing process, but I’m anxious to see how he returns and whether that forearm gives him trouble going forward.
RHP Michael Pineda
Even though he has yet to throw a single meaningful pitch in his 14 months as a Yankee, the 24-year-old Pineda is one of the most important players in the organization. The Yankees are in desperate need of a young impact player to build on going forward, and Pineda has the type of arm and power stuff to anchor a rotation. Or at least he had that type of stuff before blowing out his labrum last spring.
The long road back from shoulder surgery has Pineda to throw live batting practice in two weeks. It’ll be his first time facing hitters since having the procedure. So far he’s rehab has gone well — he’s throwing 45-pitch bullpens, including changeups and sliders — and everyone says he looks great, but what he looks like in the bullpen and how he performs against hitters are different matters entirely.
As encouraging as it is to know his rehab is going well, we have absolutely no idea what Pineda will be capable of when he gets back on a mound in a competitive game. It was a major injury and although there are some notable success stories — Curt Schilling, Rogers Clemens, Anibal Sanchez — there are countless guys who never got back to their previous form. The Yankees need Pineda and need him to be very good going forward. He’s expected to return sometime in late-May or June, and I bet they option him to Triple-A Scranton for a few weeks just to delay his free agency a year (after losing an entire pre-arbitration year to injury in 2012).
LHP Clay Rapada
A bout of shoulder bursitis has landed the 32-year-old Rapada on the DL to start the season and there is no timetable for him return. He’s been sidelined for about three weeks now and has yet to resume throwing in the bullpen, so it’s safe to say his return is not imminent. Rapada is the team’s most effective left-on-left reliever, but as a true specialist, he isn’t the most critical or irreplaceable part in the world. The Yankees are a worse team without him, but not much worse.
3B Alex Rodriguez
The second hip surgery — this one the left after hurting the right in 2009 — of A-Rod‘s career will have him out of action until at least the All-Star break. He has a cyst removed, a bone impingement corrected, and a torn labrum repaired in January and has yet to resume baseball activities. He’s not even close to resuming baseball activities.
The Yankees knew A-Rod, now 37, would miss a big chunk of the season back in December, which is why they dropped $12M on Kevin Youkilis. Alex was both the healthier (529 vs. 509 plate appearances) and more productive (114 vs. 102 wRC+) player last season, so the Yankees downgraded this winter. No one has any idea what A-Rod will be able to do after the surgery, so there’s really no point in speculating. He could be an all-arms hitter incapable of using his lower half, he could be healthier than ever and see his performance rebound, he could be something else entirely. Either way, the lineup will miss his bat from the right side.
1B Mark Teixeira
Teixeira, 32, hurt the tendon sheath in his right wrist while taking batting practice with Team USA in advance of the World Baseball Classic, so if nothing else the Yankees won’t have to pay his salary while he’s on the DL — the WBC’s insurance covers that. The wrist injury is expected to keep him out until late-May/early-June, but wrist injuries have a knack for lingering. In fact, Brian Cashman acknowledged there’s a 30% chance he will need season-ending surgery at some point.
Even if he comes back healthy, Teixeira has become increasingly injury prone in recent years after being an iron man earlier in his career. He suffered a major hamstring strain during the 2010 postseason, and last year he battled a cough, a minor wrist issue, and a calf strain (plus a setback). The right wrist is his power wrist as a left-handed batter, which could be a problem because power is his primary source of value. Teixeira has declined as a hitter these last few years because he’s become increasingly pull happy, so anything that hurts his ability to hit the ball out of park could be a production killer.