The Yankees can’t avoid the injury discussions even when they have a day off.
On Friday afternoon, the team announced three additions to their already lengthy injured list. Gleyber Torres (Grade 1 quad strain, Grade 1 hamstring strain), James Paxton (Grade 1 flexor strain), and Luis Avilán (left shoulder inflammation) all hit the 10-day IL.
Torres exited yesterday’s game after running out a groundball. He managed to strain both his quad and hamstring on the play, which is troubling. Grade 1 strains are the least severe, but hamstrings take a frustratingly long time to heal completely. Giancarlo Stanton was expected to miss a month with his hamstring strain, so the timetable should be the same, if not longer, for the shortstop.
The 23-year-old struggled at the the plate and in the field so far in 2020. Torres hit .231/.341/.295 with just one home run (85 wRC+) across 91 plate appearances. -10.8 UZR/150 falls into the lower third of all qualified shortstops, as well. Still, Torres has enormous upside, having put together two All-Star seasons for the Yankees already. Replacing him, with DJ LeMahieu on the shelf already, will be a difficult task.
Paxton, 31, meanwhile, gets good news as he avoids Tommy John surgery. Over five starts in 2020, Big Maple has pitched to a 6.64 ERA (4.32 FIP). His strikeout rate (11.51 K/9) is in line with career norms, but he’s allowing far more home runs (1.77 HR/9). Paxton’s fastball velocity is also severely compromised, averaging just 91.4 mph in his last start.
As for Avilán, the southpaw has struggled in his brief time with the Yankees. He pitched to a 4.32 ERA (5.93 FIP) over 8.1 innings. Aaron Boone seemed to trust the 31-year-old, but the bloom came off him quickly. The Yankees are especially shorthanded in the bullpen, now, with both Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton on the IL as well.
Personal opinion time: