Just a few weeks ago, the Yankees went all-in on selling at the deadline after being swept by the last-place Rays. It appeared that the front office had finally accepted that the Yankees would not be in the playoff hunt this season, yet the team has actually gained ground in the standings since then. The Yankees have won seven of their last ten games, and now stand just three games back in the hunt for the Wild Card. If the Yankees are going to stay in it, it will be critical that they avoid the injury-bug. Here’s an update on some of the players currently dealing with injuries:
On Wednesday night, Nathan Eovaldi pitched just one inning before leaving the game with “elbow discomfort.” The Yankees sent him for a dye contrast MRI, and he was placed on the disabled list on Friday with a tendon injury to that right elbow. Eovaldi is going to get a second opinion, but that might not happen until after the weekend concludes. Anything involving the elbow is a cause for concern, especially since Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in high school. Eovaldi also finished last season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Although Eovaldi hasn’t been one of the Yankees’ best starters this season, they also don’t have a great deal of rotation depth.
After Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch in the right ankle in the very first inning of Friday night’s game, he played the rest of the game in pain. He has been known to play through injuries (like he did last year when he was troubled by a wrist injury most of the season), so Joe Girardi had to ask Gardner to be honest about whether he could play on Saturday. Gardner’s response ultimately led to Aaron Judge being called up. As of today, Gardner’s ankle is still stiff and swollen, and he is expected to miss several days.
On July 3rd, Conor Mullee was in the middle of his third appearance in the majors when he signaled for a trainer to come out. He reported that his hand had gone numb and that he was unable to feel the ball. The team put him on the disabled list and originally labeled his symptoms as carpal tunnel-like. Yesterday, the Yankees announced that they were transferring Mullee to the 60-day disabled list after he required season-ending surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. This is a tough break for Mullee, who has had a plethora of elbow injuries over the past few years. Back in 2011 he had Tommy John surgery, and he had two follow-up elbow surgeries following that.
Just when it looked like Bryan Mitchell would get a real opportunity to help the Yankees both out of the bullpen and as a spot starter this year, he got injured. Mitchell injured his left big toe (fractured sesamoid bone and Grade 3 turf toe) while trying to cover first base in one of the Yankees’ final spring training games. He was required to have immediate surgery and the Yankees declared that he would miss at least four months.
That timeline ended up being close to exact. Mitchell threw a couple of simulated game towards the end of July before making his first rehab start in Charleston last Monday. He gave up three runs on three hits and surrendered two home runs through three innings. Hopefully his rehab will continue smoothly and he’ll find his way to the team before the end of the season. The Yankees could certainly use him.
It has been a rough couple of years injury-wise for Mason Williams, who ended last season on the disabled list after undergoing shoulder surgery. The recovery process for that injury ended up being pretty lengthy, as he didn’t make his debut in the minors until July 2nd. After playing in just 24 games, Williams suffered a quad injury in a game on July 30th and was placed on the disabled list once again. He was able to run the bases on Thursday and was activated from the disabled list yesterday. If he can stay healthy, Williams should be a September call-up.
After making his debut last year, Jacob Lindgren has been plagued by injuries all season. He originally underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow in June of last year, and has spent much of this season on the disabled list with elbow issues. In early August it was reported that he would undergo Tommy John surgery, and he will unfortunately be out of action until sometime in 2018.