When spring training opened, the Yankees already knew they’d open the season with Cesar Cabral, Michael Pineda and Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list.
Then Curtis Granderson broke his forearm in his first spring at-bat. Mark Teixeira left for the World Baseball Classic and came back with a torn tendon sheath. Derek Jeter‘s slim hope of breaking camp evaporated with a slow-to-diagnose setback.
Then Kevin Youkilis had some back problems that wouldn’t quite go away, and in the same game when Francisco Cervelli was hit in the hand by a foul tip, Ivan Nova experienced some soreness in his right triceps.
Then Joba Chamberlain felt something while warming up in the bullpen, showed up the next day complaining of pain in his abdomen, and was ultimately added to the disabled list with a strained oblique.
That’s 10 Yankees on the disabled list, one for every 2.7 games they’ve played this season.
“We’re going to keep plugging along,” Brian Cashman said. “This is a tough spot for Joba to have to take a time out for the next 14 days, but it’s going to give somebody else an opportunity and somebody else a chance to find a way to help us win games. Somebody’s bad news is somebody else’s good news. Whoever draws that straw, hopefully he can come in here and continue the good times.”
The Yankees have won despite these injuries, and although Granderson and Teixeira are getting closer, neither one is ready to come back just yet. That means a few more games with an injury-depleted roster. Today the Yankees will have two more new guys in the clubhouse. Chris Nelson will be there — essentially a replacement for Youkilis — and there will be a new pitcher — looks like it’s Preston Claiborne — to take Chamberlain’s spot in the bullpen.
Don’t look now, but it’s May 3.
It’s been exactly one year since Mariano Rivera tore his ACL along the warning track in Kansas City.
Associated Press photo