The Yankees are rolling with a thinner roster than they would prefer already, but some more injuries came onto the scene today shortly after the team announced that tonight’s game was rained out. The team will be without Corey Kluber into the summer after a sub-scapular strain was detected in his shoulder, and Luke Voit will be sidelined for a while thanks to a strained oblique. One positive update from the day’s news is that Giancarlo Stanton is progressing through his workouts and the team aims to have him back on Friday.
Kluber’s diagnosis is obviously not ideal, but some sort of setback was expected following the 35-year-old pitcher’s departure from yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays after just three innings of work. Kluber hadn’t been particularly rocked in that outing, allowing a two-run home run to Vladimir Guererro Jr. but otherwise cruising through the lineup, but Michael King could be seen hurrying to warm up in the bullpen early. Sure enough, Kluber exited the game and was described as having shoulder tightness in his right shoulder afterwards.
The downtime for Kluber will be at least eight weeks, putting his estimated return somewhere after the trade deadline. The Yankees want Kluber to not touch a baseball for four weeks, followed by an equal amount of time prepping his arm to return. This cautionary approach should be enough to have Kluber rolling again for the second half of the season, but the injury is another reminder of the gamble the Yankees took on constructing this rotation. It’s particularly unfortunate that this happened just as Kluber appeared to be finding his groove, and was showing the upside to that gamble.
Deivi García was already scheduled to make a start for the Yankees before the Kluber news arrived, and it’s safe to say he could stick around in his stead. García has had an up-and-down time in Triple-A Scranton, tossing a pair of sparkling games while also having a few terrible outings with shaky control. King was used to soak up some innings after Kluber left the game, and Aaron Boone said that he could also be an option for the Yankees this weekend, though he isn’t currently stretched out to a starter’s length.
Voit’s injury is a more surprising one. The Yankees knew they were going to miss him for a spell as Voit and his wife were nearing the due date for the birth of their child, but the team will now be without their starting first baseman indefinitely. Considering that the 2020 home run leader has already missed most of the season so far and had only been in 12 games thanks to knee surgery, it’s been a tough task for him to stay healthy so far this season. The production of Voit’s backups has been ... meager, to say the least, so this is a major blow to the Yankee lineup.
Voit’s oblique injury is being reported as a Grade II injury, which is similar to the one Aaron Judge sustained back in 2019. Judge missed 54 games then, and could slot Voit into a near-identical window to rehab his injury that Kluber is looking at. The cards are stacked for the Yankees to either rely on their depth even more than they already have recently, or do more than window shopping in July trade talks.