The New York Yankees coming into the season had questions about the durability of their starting rotation with former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and ex-Pirate Jameson Taillon coming off long injury recoveries and oft-injured star players Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.
Kluber had an excellent outing against Toronto last Saturday, Taillon makes his first start vs. Baltimore on Wednesday, Stanton hit a grand slam home run in a 7-0 win over the Orioles, and Judge went 3-for-5 with a HR in a 7-2 win on Tuesday, but the Yanks right fielder will miss the series finale with the O’s on Wednesday due to soreness in his side.
“It was sore yesterday during the game, kind of in his side and then after the game it was sore, so with the off day tomorrow, we’re just trying to stay ahead of (it) and don’t want to push through anything right now.” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think it’s just been just the general wear and tear of the first several days, DHing one day, a lot of swings.”
Judge and Stanton have collectively missed 273 games over the last two seasons with calf strains, oblique injuries, and muscle pulls and altered their offseason training from a weight-lifting centric routine to those that focus on more flexibility, but Stanton is limited to playing DH because of the fear of injury and Judge’s status is in question after only five games.
The Yankees have already lost first baseman Luke Voit for six weeks after 2020’s MLB home run leader underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, infielder Miguel Andujar with a wrist injury and lefty relievers Zach Britton and Justin Wilson to arm issues during spring training.
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New York has veteran Jay Bruce filling in for Voit at first base, journeyman Lucas Luetge as a situational lefty out of the bullpen, and with Judge out will shift Clint Frazier to right and insert veteran Brett Gardner. Yanks manager Brian Cashman made a low-risk move to improve the club’s depth on Tuesday, acquiring second baseman Rougned Odor from the Texas Rangers for a pair of minor leaguers.
Odor, 27, is a three-time 30-home-run hitting infielder who hit .167 last season with the Rangers. Texas is paying most of the $27 million remaining on his contract, but it is uncertain what role he will serve with New York.
Jajajajaja Ya le volaron la barba a Rougned Odor para que pueda jugar con los Yankees 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/nKUOyzJsNs— Jonathan Mariani (@Jhon_Mariani) April 7, 2021
Injury problems are not exclusive to the Bronx Bombers, the Blue Jays have still not seen free agent acquisition George Springer take an official at-bat. The former World Series MVP suffered an oblique injury during spring training and was close to making his Toronto debut, but suffered a quad strain during a baserunning drill on Tuesday.
The Chicago White Sox are already dealing with the season-ending loss of slugger Eloy Jimenez and now will be without shortstop Tim Anderson. The Sox leadoff hitter won the AL batting title with a .335 batting average in 2019 and hit .322 last season, but was placed on the IL with a hamstring injury.