Category: Injuries

Gary Sánchez to Undergo Left Shoulder Surgery

This might explain Sánchez’s brutal 2018 at the plate.

Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez is set to undergo a left shoulder debridement operation, and will miss three months to recover. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day. The shoulder injury apparently has been bothering Sánchez since 2017.

Brian Cashman made the announcement to reporters from the GM Meetings taking place in Carlsbad, California. The surgery will take place sometime this week, and will consist of team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad removing damaged tissue from Sánchez’s left AC joint.

Cashman noted that he would be comfortable with Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka catching in case of a setback to Sánchez. The team also picked up veteran Ryan Lavarnway on a minor-league deal and will likely sign more catchers to similar deals.

“It may very well be something that affected him performance-wise,” Cashman said. “I can’t rule that out. Now is the time to take care of it.”

Sánchez had a terrible 2018, hitting just .186/.291/.406 (89 wRC+). He saw his infield fly ball rate and soft contact rate increase. This injury could explain the significant difference in his quality of contact. It’s admirable that he tried to play through the injury, but it’s better for the 2019 team that he shows up in the healthiest condition possible.

Aaron Judge had surgery on his left shoulder last offseason, and showed now ill effects during the 2018 season. Now, it’s Gary Sánchez‘s turn to power through a procedure like this and get back to his MVP candidate form from 2017.

Boras: Ellsbury Will Be Healthy to Start 2019

Can the 35-year-old STAY healthy for 162 games?

Jacoby Ellsbury collected $21.1 million during the 2018 season despite not suiting up past a March 24 Spring Training matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. Injuries cost him the entire season, and he lost a chance to provide value when the Yankees’ seemingly formidable outfield depth suddenly disappeared from the organization.

With a nagging oblique issue and August 7 hip surgery behind him, Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, told George A. King III of the New York Post that the 35-year-old has his eyes set on Tampa.

“He got the right doctor and the right surgery, and I fully expect him to be ready [for spring training],” Boras said before Game 3 of the World Series, per King.

Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees in the 2013 offseason and has hit .264/.330/.386 with 39 home runs and 198 RBI in 520 games across four seasons. If you include missing all of the 2018 regular season, Ellsbury has missed 290 of a possible 810 games since signing in New York. That would be a .358 batting average, but unfortunately that’s not the metric we’re looking at. Missing 36% of your team’s games is just ridiculous for the amount of money he’s being paid.

Ellsbury suffered a concussion May 24, 2017, that setback his season and allowed Aaron Hicks to take over the starting job in center field. Ellsbury’s spot with the Yankees relies on his health in 2019, and the Yankees’ decision with Brett Gardner. Gardner has a pending $12.5 million club option, or $2 million buyout for the 2019 season.

With everyone assumed healthy coming into 2019, the outfield picture will feature Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Gardner (I think the Yanks decline his option, and bring him back for cheaper), Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

I would imagine Hicks, Judge and Stanton maintain their spots in the outfield/designated hitter rotation from last season. That leaves left field and the fourth outfield spot open to competition, and also assumes the Yankees make no significant offseason moves. Bryce Harper is the sexiest pick to fill the left field spot, though there are also rumblings of a position change for Miguel Andújar that would allow Manny Machado to fit into the puzzle as well.

What’s the simplest thing Ellsbury can do? Show up in Tampa in great shape, and stay healthy in order to help the team. He’s owed a little over $47.2 million through 2021 (assuming the Yankees buy him out), and the Yankees would love to squeeze some value out of him.

Postmortem Presser Notes: Didi, Gray, Sabathia, Stanton

Surprise surgeries for CC and Didi.

The Yankees made manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman available today for their postmortem press conference. Here are the most important storylines:

  • Didi Gregorius tore his right ulnar collateral ligament during one of the first two games of the American League Division Series in Boston, and played through the injury for the rest of the series. A recent MRI determined the tear was bad enough to force the shortstop to undergo Tommy John surgery. Cashman told reporters that Gregorius had an “asymptomatic” partial tear of the ligament that came up in his December 2014 physical that was part of his trade from Arizona to New York. “Is it bring him back in June, July, August? I think all depends on how things play out,” Cashman said. “I’d rather not put a timeframe on it. We do expect to get him back, and we do expect to return to the player that obviously we’ve been enjoying for quite some time.” Cashman also said that Gleyber Torres was the “best internal option” to start the season at shortstop, though the Yankees will undoubtedly check in on free agent Manny Machado. Gregorius also tore cartilage in his right wrist on a head-first slide, and missed time with a bruised heel suffered August 19 against Toronto. He has batted .274./.319/.447 with 81 home runs and 299 RBIs in 2,314 plate appearances since debuting for the Yankees in 2015 – all with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow.
  • Sonny Gray will almost certainly begin the 2019 season in a different uniform, as Cashman said the Yankees will “enter the winter, unfortunately, open-minded to a relocation”. Gray was awful for the Yanks at home in 2018, pitching to a 6.98 ERA in 15 home games compared to 3.17 in 15 games away from the Bronx. “Someone, if they trade for him, is going to get the player that we wanted,” Cashman said. “If and when that happens, I fully expect that. But it just hasn’t worked out here.”
  • CC Sabathia had another operation on his balky right knee, just like the clean-out he had after last season. “He’s had an amazing career that has a chance to continue — whether it’s gonna be for us or not,” Cashman said. Sabathia owns a 129-80 record and 3.74 ERA in 284 starts for the Yankees since he first signed with the team in 2009.
  • Unprompted, Cashman said he has “no regrets” on swinging a trade for 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. “We got one of the better players in the game from the offensive standpoint, period, we didn’t shy away from the opportunity of acquiring him,” the GM said. Stanton hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs and 100 RBIs but also hit just .213/.306/.436 with five homers in September, and had a tough postseason slashing .238/.273/.381 against Oakland and Boston.

A note unrelated to today’s press conference: the Texas Rangers interviewed ex-Yankees manager Joe Girardi for their managerial opening today. He managed the Yanks to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2017 and spent 2018 working as an analyst for MLB Network.

Aaron Hicks Exits ALDS Game One With Right Hamstring Tightness

Hicks was the third most valuable Yankee in the 2018 regular season, per Fangraphs.

Just moments after Aaron Hicks smacked the Yankees’ second hit of the game against Boston in ALDS Game One, the Yankee center fielder pulled up lame on his jog to first base. The Yankees announced the injury was right hamstring tightness, and that Hicks was undergoing further evaluation.

Hicks was replaced by pinch-runner Brett Gardner, who also took over defensive duties in center field. Hicks had missed three of four games in a September series in Tampa Bay because of soreness in his left hamstring.

Aaron Boone said before the game that Tyler Wade (along with Kyle Higashioka and Luis Cessa) is working out at the Yankee facility in Tampa in case of injury, and he would likely replace Hicks on the roster if he were unable to come back. The problem there is that Hicks would be ineligible for the ALCS should the Yankees replace him and then advance past the Red Sox.

This is a developing story, and will be updated as news breaks.

Didi Gregorius Suffers Cartilage Tear in Right Wrist

It seemed like a routine decision by Aaron Boone to rest starting shortstop Didi Gregorius on Sunday afternoon after the Yankees clinched a playoff birth. Gregorius dove into home plate after an impressive sprint from first to home on a double by Aaron Hicks.

However, it would turn out to be the worst case scenario for the Yankees, who learned that the 28-year-old tore cartilage in his right wrist while sliding headfirst into home plate in the 11th inning Saturday night. He had an MRI Sunday morning, and also got a cortisone shot in that wrist.

“It’s really frustrating; now I’m not playing,” Gregorius told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com after Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles. “We’re going to take it day to day. We’ll see how far it goes, but I have some movement in there. They say things like this happen to other players. Some of them have played through it. We’re going to see how it goes.”

Losing a key starting infielder with the Wild Card game looming just nine days away is a brutal blow to the Bronx Bombers. It seemed they were just getting back to full strength, having gotten Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez and Aroldis Chapman back from various injuries.

Gregorius has been a huge bat for the Yankees this year, hitting .268/.336/.498 (122 wRC+) with 27 home runs and 86 RBIs. He missed 16 games after bruising his heel August 19 in a collision at first base against Toronto. He got off to a torrid start, hit a rough patch in May but has been hitting .286/.349/.510 (130 wRC+) since June 1.

Didi told reporters that he did not feel the injury immediately Saturday night or during the postgame celebration. He also mentioned that the tear was “small,” and that he was doing everything in his power to be on the field as the postseason approaches.

Boone issued the bad news after Sunday’s loss, and said the team was “unsure” how long the injury could hamper his shortstop. He spoke on what the team expects, including whether the Yankees would get Gregorius back:

“There’s a real possibility we do. There’s also a possibility that we don’t,” Boone said. “We’ll know a lot more in a few days when we see how the wrist responds to the cortisone shot.”

With Gregorius likely to sit, the Yankees will likely give Adeiny Hechavarria more playing time at shortstop. They will likely try a double-play combination of Gleyber Torres at shortstop and Neil Walker at second base if the prognosis for Gregorius is worse than expected.

As the team heads to Tampa Bay for the penultimate series of the regular season, the Yankees and their fans have their fingers crossed for a good prognosis on Didi’s wrist.

Chapman Placed on DL; Adams Recalled; Rabago Claimed

The Yankees placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list today, and recalled righty Chance Adams from Triple-A to take his roster spot. The Yanks claimed catcher Chris Rabago from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.

Chapman had been pitching through tendinitis in his left knee all season, but had been able to manage it himself. He told reporters after the game Tuesday that the pain he felt was worse than usual. He threw just six pitches in his appearance in the 12th inning before summoning the trainer from the dugout. He was relieved by Tommy Kahnle, who got the save 17 pitches later. Chapman is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 50 appearances. He is 31-for-33 in save attempts.

Adams will serve as a long-relief option for the Yankees tonight in Miami, and will be one of the options (along with Luis Cessa and Sonny Gray) to start in Saturday’s doubleheader in Baltimore. The Yanks No. 13 prospect, he made his MLB debut August 4 in Boston, allowing three runs on three hits in five innings of work.

Rabago was the Rockies’ 13th round pick in the 2014 draft. In 66 games for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, he was hitting .213/.292/.361 with four home runs and 23 RBI. The Yankees will likely recall Rabago to be the third catcher September 1 until Gary Sánchez returns from his rehab assignment.

Didi Gregorius Placed on Disabled List; Luke Voit Recalled

Hopefully. just a precaution.

UPDATE (August 21 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern): Prior to Tuesday’s series opener in Miami, the Yankees placed Didi Gregorius on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 20, with a left heel bruise. They recalled first baseman Luke Voit from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the active roster spot.

At the earliest, Gregorius can return August 30, missing 10 games against sub-.500 competition. Voit will take a spot on the bench, as Gleyber Torres likely shifts to shortstop and a platoon of Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes takes over second base.


The worst news of all regarding Gregorius came postgame, as manager Aaron Boone called Gregorius’ bruise “pretty significant” and said he could be headed to the disabled list. Fortunately, the Yankees have an off-day to allow Didi to rest, and can evaluate him Tuesday in Miami.

If Gregorius is unavailable, expect Neil Walker to get the bulk of the playing time at second base and Gleyber Torres to shift to shortstop. Torreyes will likely fill in both at shortstop and second base if Didi must miss extended time.


UPDATE at 3:14 p.m. Eastern: The Yankees have told reporters that the preliminary diagnosis for Didi Gregorius is a bruised left heel. He’s headed to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for further testing.


Despite scoring six runs, it was not all positives that came from the Yankees first inning against Toronto on Sunday. Shortstop Didi Gregorius got tangled up with Blue Jays first baseman Kendrys Morales on an infield single.

Morales was stretching in an attempt to catch a throw from second baseman Devon Travis, but that led him into the baseline where Gregorius was running. He stayed in the game, and came around to score on Greg Bird‘s grand slam.

Didi played shortstop in the top of the second inning, but Ronald Torreyes was in the on-deck circle to hit for him in the bottom of the inning. Torreyes ended up replacing Gregorius at second base, with Gleyber Torres moving to shortstop.

The Yankees have not released an official update at this time. This story will be updated as soon as they do.

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