The 2019 season is not off to a good start for the New York Yankees. In addition to losing two of three at home to the lowly Orioles over the weekend, the Yankees have lost several important players to injury since the start of spring training.
New York's injured list got a little longer Monday. The Yankees announced Giancarlo Stanton has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain. Clint Frazier has been summoned from Triple-A as his replacement.
Prior to tonight's game, the @Yankees placed OF Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain and recalled OF Clint Frazier (#77) from Triple-A @swbrailriders.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 1, 2019
Soon after that, some bad news regarding hard-hitting third baseman Miguel Andujar dropped:
Miguel Andujar is going on the injured list with a shoulder injury. Hurt himself diving back into third. Tyler Wade being recalled.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) April 1, 2019
Although he has not yet hit a home run, Stanton is 2 for 8 (.250) with an MLB-leading seven walks in the early going this season. He hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs last season and it can be considered a down year compared to his career averages. Andujar is coming off a 2018 rookie season in which he tallied 27 home runs and 47 doubles in 149 games. This season, he's off to a slow start in the early going.
Stanton and Andujar are already the eighth and ninth Yankees, respectively, to land on the injured list in 2019. Here is the list:
- Dellin Betances (shoulder inflammation)
- Jacoby Ellsbury (hip surgery)
- Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery)
- Ben Heller (Tommy John surgery)
- Aaron Hicks (back)
- Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery)
- Luis Severino (shoulder inflammation)
- Stanton (biceps)
- Andujar (shoulder)
Furthermore, CC Sabathia will be placed on the injured list Wednesday after he finishes serving a five-game suspension. He is working his way back following offseason knee and heart surgery. That'll make it nine Yankees on the injured list.
The Yankees are now without their ace (Severino), their No. 3 hitter (Stanton), their starting shortstop (Gregorius), their starting center fielder (Hicks), their starting third baseman (Andujar), their top setup man (Betances), and several depth players. Betances, Gregorius, Hicks, Severino, Stanton, and Andujar combined for 21.6 WAR last season. That's a lot of missing production.
Frazier missed much of last season with concussion issues and did not have a good spring training at all, hitting .143/.228/.245 with 16 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances. The Yankees planned to send him back to Triple-A to get regular at-bats after missing so much time last year. Now they need him in the big leagues.
With Stanton joining Hicks and Gregorius on the injured list, Yankees manager Aaron Boone will likely use a regular lineup that now looks something like this:
- CF Brett Gardner
- RF Aaron Judge
- 1B Greg Bird
- DH Luke Voit
- C Gary Sanchez
- 2B Gleyber Torres
- 3B DJ LeMahieu
- SS Troy Tulowitzki
- LF Clint Frazier
Frazier went 9 for 34 (.265) in limited big league time last year and crushed the ball in 48 Triple-A games (.311/.389/.574) around the concussion. He's a former top prospect -- the Yankees acquired him as the headliner in the Andrew Miller trade three years ago -- who's yet to get extended playing time in MLB. That likely changes now.
The Yankees did not announce the severity of Stanton's injury nor did they give a timetable for his return. Andujar's injury is being called a shoulder strain, and he's set for further tests. Hicks had not yet resumed baseball activities as of the team's weekend update and Gregorius is not expected back until the second half. The Yankees still have a pretty strong offense even without those guys. They clearly are not at full strength, however.