The New York Yankees entered Thursday with a 21-15 record, good for second place in the American League East. In some years, that may have been reason to disappointment; this year, it's cause for celebration. The constant throughout New York's season has been absence: The Yankees lead baseball in days lost to injury, with 496. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the only other team to surpass 400 days lost to injury thus far this season.
While the Yankees have received some good news in the last week -- Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier are back, and Aaron Hicks is working toward a return next week -- they're not out of the deep end just yet. Consider that on Thursday manager Aaron Boone admitted there is no timetable in place for when either Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge will rejoin the lineup:
There are no timelines for Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton to return, Aaron Boone says.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 9, 2019
Stanton, who hasn't appeared in a game since March, originally went on the injured list due to a biceps issue. He suffered a shoulder injury while rehabbing, however, and that ailment has since required a cortisone shot. It is worth noting that Stanton was spotted throwing prior to Wednesday's game, and was expected to resume swinging a bat earlier in the week. Still, the Yankees don't seem to anticipate him suiting up for the big-league club anytime soon.
As for Judge, he strained his oblique on April 20 and has yet to resume baseball activities. At this point, it doesn't seem likely that he'll be able to return until late May at the earliest.
Still no baseball activities for Aaron Judge, but Aaron Boone said he feels like Judge is “making good improvements every day.”— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 9, 2019
Even without Stanton or Judge (or Hicks), the Yankees have received quality production from their outfield. Coming into Thursday's game against the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees had four outfielders with OPS+ of 95 or better: Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, and Cameron Maybin, who was recently acquired from the Cleveland Indians.
It's not how Brian Cashman and company drew it up, but that's baseball for you.