New York Yankees: Ellsbury injuries create friction

Injuries, what they mean and what they do

Of course injuries create complications. They do for every team in every sport all the time. That’s the tricky situation, the hold-up that creates gaps in rosters, losses in big games, fearful fans and so much more.

So what are the most common Major League Baseball injuries? Well, in 2011 studies showed the predominant injuries in pitchers, and the growing need for surgeries and rehab in many professional pitchers according research done between 2002 and 2008 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.  They compared pitchers and fielders and studied the difference in numbers of upper extremity injuries in pitchers versus the higher amount of lower extremity injuries in fielders.

Other studies done show the increasing amount of injuries in professional baseball players as a whole, despite the changes in conditioning routines and advanced injury treatment possibilities.

So, based on research done over years filled with monitoring athletes and the number of injuries they face. It’s pretty reasonable to assume that injuries in pitchers are most commonly in their pitching arm and fielders experience injuries in legs and other lower extremities (i.e calves, knees, thighs, groin injuries). That may seem like common sense to many of you however there are experts who are still trying to find ways to prevent and reduce these injuries from happening, and trying to figure out how they continue to increase in the league.

Bombers roster changes because of injuries

In 2013 injuries on the Yankees roster resulted in an 85 win season, way below what was expected. This year, the Yankees’ list of injuries is a real threat to their success, and creates overwhelming stress for the team and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Injuries like Jacoby Ellsbury’s past and current ones are big factors to the Yankees’ cauldron of stress boiling over this preseason. After a rib injury that kept Ellsbury out for nearly the entire season with Boston in 2010, a shoulder injuryprevented him from performing for two months in 2012. Boston chose not to resign him, however, the Yankees picked him up and are now beginning to realize the treachery they might be in for.

Ellsbury has been out for a few spring training games already due to what the team is calling¬† a “nagging calf injury”. Ellsbury underwent an MRI which came back negative, and gave the Bombers hope that he will be as good as new by regular season opening day but there are things fans are beginning to question about Ellsbury’s performance.

For instance, as many know Ellsbury’s 2011 season resulted in over 30 home runs but every other season he rarely gets more than 9 dingers. His greatest attribute is his base-stealing abilities and the speed he is able to reach. The team seems to be babying Ellsbury despite the fact that over his career he has had only two actual serious injuries. After all, broken toes hurt, and can alter a fielder’s ability to run the bases, but after a couple weeks of healing time last September Ellsbury returned to action and played as if nothing had ever happened.

With his age advancing into his 30’s and his list of injuries and time on the bench adding up it was a risk for the Yankees to sign him to a seven-year $153 million dollar contract, but they did it and are subsequently hoping it turns into something good. With many other things going awry or creating tension on the team, like Jeter’s retirement and Tanaka’s struggles to acclimate himself with American baseball, spending over $20 million a year on a very good but hardly extraordinary center fielder.

I guess my question for you is this, having several injuries in his past and a barely above average record, is Ellsbury worth the money and friction he is causing the team?

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