Through all of last season, the Yankees put a total of 11 players on the disabled list.
They have 11 players on the disabled list right now.
“Some of our guys have seized an opportunity, ran with it and played very well,” Joe Girardi said. “It seemed like it was one after another for a while there. We kept having injuries, and we were talking about a new guy, but these guys have played hard. They haven’t said, ‘Golly, we lost another guy.’ They just went out and played the game. Guys have stepped up for us big, and that’s why we’re winning games.”
Without their starting shortstop. Without their top two setup relievers. Without their top two left-handed relievers. Without their 18-game winner from last season, and without his rotation replacement, the Yankees have won 13 of 17 and pulled a game and a half ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East.
They’ve played well, and as Girardi might say, that’s the bottom line. Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Jorge Posada are hitting again, the rotation has been good enough that the thin bullpen hasn’t been an issue and Eduardo Nunez has been productive in place of Derek Jeter.
“We all try to step up when somebody is needed,” Swisher said. “We take pride in that. Whoever goes down, there’s going to be somebody that’s going to be able to step up and be ready for that spot. Prime example is Nuney’s done such a tremendous job with the absence of Jeet. Obviously you can’t replace a guy like that, but I think the way that Nuney’s playing, he’s really fit in.”
Bartolo Colon could be back by the weekend, and Phil Hughes doesn’t seem too far behind. Jeter is taking batting practice, and so is Eric Chavez. Rafael Soriano is apparently able to throw a ball without his elbow bothering him.
Right now the Yankees are playing as if they don’t need them, but getting some players back would certainly boost the roster, fill some holes and increase the margin of error. The Yankees are playing very well right now, but in terms of personnel, they’re a long way from being at their best.
“I don’t think our guys ever felt sorry for ourselves,” Girardi said. “I think that was the important part of it.”
Associated Press photos