It’s nearing October and you know what that means: postseason time. A time where the competition gets even more fierce, teams know where they stand, and apparently players start dropping like flies. For the New York Yankees, the latter couldn’t be more true.
I know it happens to every team, players get injured or traded, but seeing it happen so often in one season is like a recurring nightmare. Especially when it’s happening to some of the most talented players.
Looking at the Yankees pitching roster from April to now is like watching a new team. I’ve started to get a little worried when I see Derek Jeter in the game because who knows? He could be next, giving a whole new meaning to “saying farewell” to the Captain. I’ve heard a lot of talk saying the new additions to the team are just as good, if not better, than the ones they’ve lost. While I don’t disagree I have to ask, do they really know who the Yanks are missing?
He’s been with the Yankees since 2010. In April he had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John Surgery. He was then placed on the 60-day disabled list.
Although he ended this year with a 8.27 ERA, there’s no denying he went all the way for the Yankees in his 2013 season, ending with a 3.10 ERA. This was after receiving American League Pitcher of the Month of August when he went 0-4 despite an amazing 2.08 ERA with one complete-game shutout.
He’s been with the Yankees since 2009. Another pitcher who had the honor of American League Pitcher of the Month, not once, but twice in 2009 and 2011.
Sabathia was placed on the 60-day disabled list in May due to inflammation of the right knee and ended this season with a 5.28 ERA. He had issues with his right knee back in 2010 and had surgery because of a torn meniscus. Sabathia has done a lot for the Yankees in the past 5 years. In 2009 he led the Yankees to their 27th World Championship and was the ALCS MVP.
He only began his first season with the Yankees in April, but I consider Tanaka a knockout pitcher and one who will prove great things over the next seven years. He suffered a ligament tear in July and is currently on the 15-day disabled list so there is hope for his return this season. Tanaka was named American League pitcher of the Month in May after tossing his first career shutout on the 14th against the Mets.
In addition to losing Nova, Sabathia, and Tanaka we can add Michael Pineda, David Phelps, and possibly Mark Teixeira to that list. Pineda injured his right shoulder muscle in July, while Phelps had issues with his right elbow. I mentioned Teixeira because of his recent injury. When sliding into home he cut his finger, later needing three stitches. The good news is, we may be seeing more of Pineda, Phelps, and Tex soon.
Now I’m not saying by losing those players the Yankees haven’t gained some great ones in return. Players like Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy, Rich Hill and Chris Capuano have all shown they deserve to wear pinstripes. My point is that it’s a little unsettling to watch so many great players not be able to play out one season.
Let’s face it, third place in the AL East isn’t necessarily a bad position to be in, but it isn’t the best either. As of right now, I honestly cannot see the Yankees going very far into the postseason.