On the day before the all-star break, a doctor in Florida confirmed what a doctor in New York had already discovered. Alex Rodriguez has a torn meniscus in his right knee. He needs surgery, and he’s likely to miss a month or more.
It’s not yet official, but Rodriguez is about to become the 15th Yankee to go on the disabled list this season, more than they had on the DL all of last year.
“There’s no doubt we’re going to miss him,” Joe Girardi said. “But we need to find a way.”
The Yankees kept finding ways through the first half of the season.
Their thin rotation lost Phil Hughes, then it lost Hughes’ replacement. Their deep bullpen lost one setup man, then lost another, and it has yet to see its new left-handed specialist. The lineup was without its shortstop for an extended period of time, and the team’s catcher, right fielder and third baseman have missed time with nagging injuries. Their top bench player has been on the DL since May 6.
“You just got to keep going,” Curtis Granderson said. “You can’t dwell on it too much.”
The Yankees have kept going because guys like Granderson and Freddy Garcia and Dave Robertson have helped to fill the holes, but on this first day of the all-star break, the Yankees remain incomplete. Their approach to the second half might depend on how many pieces fall back into place.
Can Rodriguez come back quickly and fully? Will Rafael Soriano keep moving forward? Is Hughes back to last year’s form?
If the answer to all three of those questions is yes, then the Yankees might not have much work to do at the trade deadline. If the answer to any of those questions is no, then they might have a significant issue — in the lineup, in the bullpen, or in the rotation — that will need to be addressed.
My hope is to spend this day on the blog looking at some of the questions that the Yankees have yet to answer. In some ways, each season’s first half is about figuring out the right questions to ask, and the second half is about answering them. To use Girardi’s phrase, it’s all about finding a way.
“We have a strong team,” Russell Martin said. “Obviously we’re going to miss (Rodriguez)’s bat in the lineup, but I think we’ll be able to keep pushing hard without him.”
Associated Press photos